20 Aug 2019

Samoa PM downplays Tuvalu tension

12:45 pm on 20 August 2019

Samoa's Prime Minister, Tuila'epa Sa'ilele Malielegaoi, has downplayed tension between Australia and other Pacific nations during last week's Pacific Islands Forum summit in Tuvalu.

Tuila'epa Sa'ilele Malielegaoi in Tuvalu.

Tuila'epa Sa'ilele Malielegaoi in Tuvalu. Photo: Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat

He said the tension was to be expected.

The Samoa Observer reported Tuila'epa saying the leaders' retreat at the forum summit was a place where leaders were encouraged to have frank exchanges of ideas to resolve difficult issues confronting the region.

Part of the tension in Tuvalu was the way Australia drove its perspectives home by reminding leaders of the aid Canberra had provided the region, he said.

But Australia should pay attention to climate change for its own benefit, Tuilaepa said.

Australia's prolonged drought, forest fires, cyclones, flash flooding, bleaching of the Great Barrier Reef and the consequential threat to marine resources are well known effects of the climate crisis, Tuila'epa said.

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