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Sir Michael: We have always followed Fiji

March 17
13:15 2013

Papua New Guinea’s High Commissioner to Fiji Peter Eafeare (left), with Sir Michael Somare, and the Minister for Foreign Affairs and International Co-operation Ratu Inoke Kubuabola at the Natadola Bay Championship Golf Course yesterday. Sir Michael is here as chief guest of the Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG) 25th anniversary celebrations which will be held at Nasova, Suva, this week. Photo: WAISEA NASOKIA

A friend indeed


Papua New Guinea’s first and longest-serving prime minister, Sir Michael Somare, says their stance on Fiji remains the same – they support Fiji’s leadership.
Grand Chief Sir Michael is of the view that the international community should not interfere in Fiji’s affairs.
“I have always maintained that Fiji has its own choice to make. No one from outside, like us, can influence Fiji on the type decision they make and the type of things they want to do in their country,” said Sir Michael, who is in the country for the 25th anniversary celebration of the Melanesian Spearhead Group.
Accompanied by Foreign Affairs Minister, Ratu Inoke Kubuabola, Sir Michael played a round of golf at the Natadola Bay Championship Golf Course yesterday.
“They are an independent state, they became independent before us. We have always followed Fiji … Fiji’s contribution to the Pacific region, to the Commonwealth, the European Union and everything else,” the Grand Chief said.
He said it was important that Pacific island nations were united.
“We have always wanted all island states to work together for the common good of island people, and yes we are bigger in size and population, but our responsibility in the islands is to help each other.
“Now is the time the world has recognised the region. The region has made an impact, so it’s very important for us to play that role.”
Sir Michael said Fiji needed to be an integral part of the Pacific.
“Fiji has been a leading leader,”he said.
“When there were changes and when Prime Minister Bainimarama became the leader, we accepted his leadership, when everybody was saying that Fiji was going the wrong way.
“As I have said earlier on, the country has to decide its own fate as to what it does. When Commodore Bainimarama came to power, he decided how the country should be run for Fiji and for Fijians.
“We accepted that, despite the international community criticising us. But, I said no, because I said we have to follow the leadership.”

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