Timor-Leste, Indonesia allowed as observers at Melanesian Spearhead Group meeting in Fiji

16:39, February 18, 2011      

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The Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG) has welcomed the request by Timor-Leste and Indonesia to be part of its March meeting in Fiji after an earlier request by the two Asian countries, according to the MSG secretariat on Friday.

Their request was endorsed at the MSG foreign ministers meeting currently held in Fiji's western city Nadi to allow the two Asian countries to attend as observers at the March MSG summit meeting to be held in Fiji's capital city of Suva, the secretariat told media here Friday.

It confirmed that the MSG leaders would meet on March 31 following a string of preliminary meetings of the trade and economics officials and the senior officials meeting.

The Nadi meeting was chaired by Fijian Foreign Minister Ratu Inoke Kubuabola and attended by Papua New Guinea's Minister for Foreign Affairs, Trade and Immigration Don Polye; Solomon Islands Special Envoy to MSG Patteson Oti; the Vanuatu Ministry of Foreign Affairs and External Trade director general Jean Sese, and Victor Tutugoro, the Spokesperson on MSG Matters of the Front de Liberation Nationale Kanak et Socialiste (FLNKS).

The meeting urged the member nations help each other in times of trouble. PNG's Polye also issued a reminder at the meeting, which was appreciated by all the participants, according to the MSG secretariat.

"The call is for the MSG to remain vigilant on the original purpose, for which the MSG was established, to support the political aspirations of the Front de Liberation Nationale Kanak et Socialiste (FLNKS) of New Caledonia," Polye said.

The meeting noted a need for the MSG to continue with its ministerial visits to New Caledonia and to continue working with the United Nations Committee of 24 and other regional organizations in the implementation of the Noumea Accord and the lead up toward the 2014-2018 referendum.

MSG is an intergovernmental organization, composed of four Melanesian states of Fiji, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands and Vanuatu as well as the FLNKS of New Caledonia with a headquarters in Vanuatu.

More recently, the MSG was heavily involved in the political discussions following Fiji's suspension from the Pacific Islands Forum in May 2009 because its non return to democracy accused by the West, especially Australia and New Zealand.

Source: Xinhua

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