24 Jun 2015

Vanuatu PM attendance at MSG meeting in doubt

11:40 am on 24 June 2015

It remains uncertain whether the Prime Minister of Vanuatu Sato Kilman will attend this week's Melanesian Spearhead Group leader's summit in Honiara.

The talks which are expected to decide on West Papua membership of the MSG have coincided with court proceedings on a possible no confidence motion against Mr Kilman.

That decision is due in Port Vila this afternoon, and a spokesman for Mr Kilman says his attendance at the MSG summit depends on the outcome of the case.

Meanwhile, the country is being represented at the crucial talks in Honiara by a senior bureaucrat Johnson Naviti.

Vanuatu has traditionally supported West Papuan efforts to join the MSG but this latest development casts further doubt on the bid by the United Liberation Movement for West Papua for full membership.

The Vanuatu Daily Post reports court proceedings involving bribery allegations against 19 mostly government MPs have been adjourned until next month.

Sato Kilman - pictured during a visit to Russia in March 2015

Sato Kilman - pictured during a visit to Russia in March 2015 Photo: Vladimir Pesnya / RIA Novosti