1 May 2015

USP expert says Forum needs Fiji

6:43 pm on 1 May 2015

An expert on political affairs from the University of the South Pacific says without Fiji the solidarity of the Pacific Islands Forum is weakened.

Director of Politics and International Affairs Sandra Tarte says the Forum needs Fiji.

Fiji has stated that it will not attend the Forum meeting in September because it wants Australia and New Zealand out of the group.

Dr Tarte says it would not be a complete Forum without Fiji as it would leave a weak link in the system without their involvement in discussions.

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Photo: PIF

She says next month's PALM7 meeting in Japan will be a chance for Prime Minister Bainimarama to meet Forum Leaders and address the matter.

Meanwhile the associate professor says a call by Samoa for the Forum Secretariat to be moved to Apia has been raised since the 1970's.

Dr Tarte says the rivalry is nothing new although it sometimes gets stirred up by outside actors or observers making speculative comments.