9 Aug 2011

Solomon Islands opposition leader calls for dialogue with Fiji's Mara

9:44 am on 9 August 2011

The Solomon Islands opposition leader Dr Derek Sikua is urging the Prime Minister Danny Philip to accept a request to talk with the former Fiji army colonel Ratu Tevita Mara.

The Solomon Star reports Dr Sikua saying it's in the interest of the country's relationship with Fiji that the government be open to hearing from Colonel Mara, as he could be representing the views of the majority of Fiji's people.

Dr Sikua says Colonel Mara may have a better way forward for Fiji than what the interim prime minister Commodore Frank Bainimarama has introduced and Mr Philip ought to provide him with the chance to air it.

Mr Philip has said he won't prevent Colonel Mara from visiting Solomon Islands but that there'll be no government contact at any level.

He says although Fiji's very important to Solomon Islands his government sees open dialogue as the best way to help it return to democracy.