MSG chair meets with PNG PM
The final round of consultations with Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG) leaders was concluded on Wednesday.
MSG chair, Solomon Islands Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare met with the Papua New Guinea Prime Minister, Peter O’Neill.
The key issues of discussion included the following:
n MSG Special Leaders Summit;
n Outcome of the Meeting of the MSG sub-committee on Legal and Institutional Issues (SCLII) in Port Vila in December 2016. SCLII is the MSG sub-committee that makes recommendations to the MSG Governing Bodies- Senior Officials Meeting, Foreign Ministers Meeting and Leaders Summit;
n West Papua;
n MSG Free Trade Agreement;
n MSG Labour Mobility, Independent Review of the MSG Secretariat; and
n MSG chairmanship Handover from Solomon Islands to Papua New Guinea.
Last month Mr Sogovare had met with the Prime Minister Charlot Salwai of Vanuatu and Victor Tutugoro of the Front de Liberation Nationale Kanak et Socialiste (FLNKS) in Port Vila and Fijian Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama.
On the issue of Special Leaders Summit, the MSG chair said he expressed regret over his inability to convene any Special Leaders Summit in December 2016 because of the non-availability of colleague leaders.
A statement from the Solomon’s Prime Minister’s office said: “On the issue of MSG Free Trade Agreement, the MSG Chair said Prime Minister O’Neill stated that PNG will be signing up the agreement after sorting out some issues of concern with Fiji.
“On the issue of MSG Labour Mobility, the MSG chair said Prime Minister O’Neill has expressed desire to see this opened up so that Melanesians from other Melanesian countries do not have to apply for work permit to work in PNG and vice versa.”
Edited by Jonathan Bryce