Bainimarama not attending PIF

Fiji’s Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama is sticking to his promise not to attend the Pacific Island Forum meetings in person.

Instead the Fiji government will be sending its Foreign Minister and former High Commissioner to PNG, Ratu Inoke Kubuabola to attend the 46th Pacific Island Forum in Port Moresby.

PNG’s Foreign Minister, Rimbink Pato said Fiji is a sovereign nation and PNG respects the decision taken by Bainimarama.

In May this year Bainimarama announced its country’s refusal to participate in the PIF until the influence of Australia and New Zealand are addressed.

However he backed down from this stand opting instead to send a representative at Ministerial level.

He says Australia and New Zealand, are not island nations and should not be members of the Pacific Islands Forum.

New Zealand and Australia are major donors for countries in the Pacific Island Forum and are members of the Forum.     

Joy Kisselpar