November 13, 2012

PACP leaders to discuss Fiji

09:11 Today (November 13, 2012)
Report by: Vosita Kotoiwasawasa / PACNEWS

Leaders of the Pacific ACP grouping will meet in Port Moresby on Wednesday next week to discuss amongst other things Fiji’s participation at future P-ACP related meetings.

Fiji hasn’t participated at the highest level of PACP meeting since its suspension from the Pacific Islands Forum in 2009.

PACNEWS reports the one-day meeting will try and resolve ‘once and for all’ the Fiji’s issue which has been ‘divisive’ to the membership of the Pacific Islands Forum.

However, the decision will need to be by consensus, if Fiji is to return to the P-ACP fold.

At the recent Forum Leaders meeting in Cook Islands, P-ACP Leaders couldn’t agree on allowing Fiji back to their meeting because of the decision by Leaders in 2009 to suspend the Pacific island nation.

As a compromise, Papua New Guinea offered to host a special session outside the Forum process before the end of the year to discuss Fiji’s involvement in purely P-ACP related activities.

An invitation to the Port Moresby meeting was conveyed to Fiji’s Prime Minister last month when Papua New Guinea Prime Minister, Peter O’Neill made an official visit to Suva.

At that time, Prime Minister, Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama indicated his available dates to the PNG leader.

Whether he will attend the meeting is being discussed between Fiji’s Attorney General and Minister for Industry and Trade, Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum and the Prime Minister’s Office.

Trade and Industry Permanent Secretary, Shaheen Ali told PACNEWS that Fiji has maintained all along that “any move to limit its participation in the PACP is a violation of Fiji’s rights under international law.

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