5 Dec 2012

Pacific Forum and Fiji regime at loggerheads of agency's role with PACP countries

4:30 pm on 5 December 2012

The Pacific Islands Forum and the Fiji interim government are at loggerheads over the regional agency's involvement with the Pacific members of the African, Caribbean and Pacific group of countries.

The PACP receives aid from the European Union, and the Forum says it still has a role in assisting with trade negotiations, but Fiji says its involvement is over.

Don Wiseman has more:

"Earlier this week the interim Fiji leader Commodore Frank Bainimarama, said there is now a complete separation between the Forum Secretariat and the PACP. He says this is to ensure that Fiji, which is suspended from the Forum, can take a full part in the PACP. It followed a meeting in Papua New Guinea last week. Commodore Bainimarama says the Forum had been violating Fiji's rights by not allowing it to attend meetings. The Forum says a secretariat for the PACP to be set up in Papua New Guinea will service leaders' meetings only while the regional body will manage other aspects of the relationship. Elaboration on the apparent standoff had been sought from the chair of the Forum, the Cook Islands Prime Minister Henry Puna and Commodore Bainimarama, but neither man could be reached for comment."