7 Dec 2010

Vanuatu's Kilman pulls out of MSG talks

4:51 pm on 7 December 2010

The Vanuatu prime minister, Sato Kilman, has pulled out of next week's planned meeting of the Melansian Spearhead Group in Solomon Islands.

The meeting was called by the Solomons government to reconcile Vanuatu and Fiji after the previous Vanuatu prime minister called off the MSG summit in July, preventing Fiji from assuming the chairmanship.

Mr Kilman's first political advisor, John Shing, says he decided not to go because Fiji's interim prime minister, Commodore Frank Bainimarama, had already indicated that he wouldn't take part.

Mr Shing says Mr Kilman will send his foreign minister, Georges Wells, instead.

Fiji will send its interim foreign minister, Ratu Inoke Kubuabola.

After his election last Thursday, Mr Kilman indicated his wish to normalise relations between the two countries.

Mr Shing said Commodore Bainimarama has talked to Mr Kilman on the phone on Monday.