NEWS

PM Supports Sydney Meet

A proposed Pacific leaders meeting in Sydney next year has been backed by Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama.  Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop suggested the meeting to discuss the question of
02 Nov 2014 09:48
PM Supports Sydney Meet
Minister for Industry, Trade and Tourism Faiyaz Koya (right), and Australian Minister for Foriegn Affairs Julie Bishop examine giant mudcrabs as part of the Market Development Facility Exhibition and morning tea for the Australian Foreign Minister at the Grand Pacific Hotel in Suva yesterday. Photo: DEPTFO

A proposed Pacific leaders meeting in Sydney next year has been backed by Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama.  Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop suggested the meeting to discuss the question of regional architecture.

The meeting is expected to discuss the roles of the various regional organisations, the Pacific Islands Development Forum (PIDF), the Pacific Island Forum (PIF), Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG) and the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC).

“Is any one of those bodies or are they collectively really meeting the needs; the economic, social, security and political needs of the Pacific? asked Ms Bishop during her welcome reception at Borron House on Friday evening.

In discussions with Mr Bainimarama and Foreign Affairs Minister Ratu Inoke Kubuabola she agreed that there needed to be more discussion on the relevant regional architecture to meet the needs of the Pacific Islands.

Pacific leaders should work out what they wanted as Pacific countries and makes it relevant for the 21st Century, she added.

Ms Bishop aproached Mr Bainimarama during her welcome reception and received a positive response when asked if it would be a good idea to have this dialogue with other regional leaders.

“Before me were representatives of PIFs, and PIDF,” Ms Bishop said.

According to Ms Bishop, the Prime Minister said it would be a very good idea.

“So we spent the next half hour working out whether it would be in Nadi, Suva or Sydney.”

She plans to contact other regional leaders to organise the meeting and agenda after Fiji recommended that Sydney host the meeting.

The meeting is also expected to include representatives from countries such as China and Japan.

Ms Bishop’s latest Fijian visit also proved Australian media sceptics wrong after they predicted she would be kicked out.

Ms Bishop said: “I thought I am not going to take that one lying down so I came over here and found out shock horror that the Australian media got it wrong.”

Feedback:  maikab@fijisun.com.fj

 




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