5 Nov 2014

Remengesau stresses Pacific Forum unity

3:35 pm on 5 November 2014

The Chair of the Pacific Islands Forum, Tommy Remengesau, has stressed the continuing importance of New Zealand and Australia at the regional body.

Tommy Remengesau

Tommy Remengesau Photo: AFP

Fiji has called for a re-assessment of the two countries' role at the Forum saying they can't be both members and development partners.

It has refused to retake its seat despite its suspension being lifted and wants Pacific-wide talks on the issue.

Mr Remengesau, who is the President of Palau, says New Zealand and Australia helped found the Forum.

"With or without the Forum as an official entity, they're still going to be here in the Pacific Ocean and so I think the reality is that we will continue to deal with Australia and New Zealand, Fiji as well as all the countries of the Pacific."

Mr Remengesau says the Forum is very happy to welcome Fiji back into the fold because there is strength in unity and Fiji can bring much to the table..

Fiji was suspended in 2009 for failing to hold elections as promised.

The suspension was lifted last month.

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