3 Nov 2010

MSG meeting delayed until next year

7:43 pm on 3 November 2010

The chairman of the Melanesian Spearhead Group and Vanuatu's prime minister, Edward Natapei, has once again adjourned the MSG's planned special meeting which now expected early next year.

It was due to be held in Solomon Islands last month but Mr Natapei says because of a busy schedule, the meeting cannot be held this month or next.

The meeting was to reconcile Mr Natapei and the Fiji interimprime minister, Commodore Frank Bainimarama, after the MSG summit in Fiji in July was called off by Vanuatu.

The planned process now is for Vanuatu to briefly hand over the chairmanship to Solomon Islands which in turn is to pass it on to Fiji.

Mr Natapei says he expects the Solomons prime minister, Danny Philip, will apply the principle of democracy.

He says if Mr Philip hands over the chairmanship of the MSG to Fiji, it will not change the position of Vanuatu that an organisation like the MSG should be headed by an elected government.