3 Nov 2014

Pacific Islands Forum to be reviewed

6:32 am on 3 November 2014

Australia is to host a top-level meeting of Pacific leaders to review the structure of the region's organisations as Fiji refuses to rejoin the Pacific Islands Forum.

This was agreed at talks in Suva between Fiji's foreign minister, Ratu Inoke Kubuabola, and his visiting Australian counterpart, Julie Bishop.

Fiji was suspended from the Forum in 2009 for reneging on its promise to hold elections that year.

Last month, the Forum lifted Fiji's suspension in recognition of its September election, but Fiji has set conditions for any return.

Ratu Inoke says the Forum could be enlarged to include Japan and maybe the United States, France and South Korea.

Ms Bishop has suggested the proposed meeting be held in Sydney to discuss what the organisation is expected to achieve in the 21st century, but she told FBC News it be restricted to Pacific Island countries.

The Fiji Sun says China is also expected to be represented.