An opposition politician in Kiribati says reports that the Cabinet has endorsed a plan to buy nearly 3,000 hectares on Fiji's main island are ridiculous.
President Anote Tong told the Associated Press the fertile land, which is being sold by a church group, could be insurance for Kiribati's entire population should climate change force them to move.
But a former President ,Teburoro Tito, says nothing of the sort has been discussed in parliament.
"People here are laughing about that, they think it's a joke. That's the initial reaction. And as I said earlier where did the President get the idea from? Which people his own island, the island I'm representing or some other people in Kiribati."
Teburoro Tito says people do not want to move from their homes.
Spokespeople for the governments in Fiji and Kiribati say they will release statements on the issue today.