31 Aug 2011

Fiji gathering ahead of Forum meeting is no coincidence - Ratuva

6:57 am on 31 August 2011

A University of Auckland political scientist says Fiji's decision to hold its Engaging The Pacific gathering ahead of the Pacific Islands Forum leaders meeting is no coincidence.

The MSG countries are due to meet in Nadi today ahead of the interim government's Engaging The Pacific meeting - which 15 countries are reported to be attending.

Last year, ten Pacific Island countries attended the Engaging the Pacific meeting, organised in place of the cancelled Melanesian Spearhead Group meeting.

Dr Steven Ratuva, a political scientist from the University of Auckland, says he believes the timing is very much deliberate.

"This is the second time it has happened, and at this particular time, I think it is time precisely to precede the Forum, and the build up to the Forum has been taking place for a number of months. So, it's reflection of the state of geo-politics in the Pacific - it's divided."

Dr Steven Ratuva says the countries attending do not want to be seen to decline the invitation, but nor do they want to appear to support the interim regime.