10 Jun 2015

Vanuatu PM lays out concerns with Kilman

4:21 pm on 10 June 2015

The Vanuatu Prime Minister, Joe Natuman, has revealed more on why Sato Kilman was dumped as foreign minister last week.

Mr Kilman, who is expected to support Thursday's attempt for a motion of no confidence in Mr Natuman, was replaced by Kalvau Moli.

Mr Natuman says Mr Kilman had made it clear he no longer supported him as the country's leader, but he says they have had concerns about Mr Kilman for not toeing the government line.

He says at the recent 60th Asian - African Conference he misrepresented Vanuatu's position over the West Papua issue.

Vanuatu Prime Minister Joe Natuman

Vanuatu Prime Minister Joe Natuman Photo: RNZ / Kim Baker Wilson

Mr Natuman says Mr Kilman was well aware of the strong position of Vanuatu towards the West Papuans' struggle and its bid to become a member of the Melanesian Spearhead Group.

He says Mr Kilman had even suggested his government would open an embassy in Jakarta, despite that not being the position.

And in Russia recently Mr Kilman met the so-called foreign minister of Abkhazia, despite Vanuatu having bilateral links with Georgia which considers Abkhazia part of its territory.

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