MAIKA BOLATIKI | Fiji Sun
A MOVE TO STOP FIJI’s prime minister Commodore Voreqe (Frank) Bainimarama from attending the opening session of the Pacific ACP (Africa/Caribbean/Pacific) leaders meeting in Port Moresby this week failed to get off the ground.
Fijian foreign affairs minister Ratu Inoke Kubuabola said he had been informed that the Pacific Forum Secretariat had wanted Commodore Bainimarama to stay out of the opening and be invited in later.
Ratu Inoke said he reminded the group that Fiji’s prime minister was invited to the meeting by PNG prime minister Peter O’Neill.
“Why should the prime minister from Fiji be stopped to attend the opening when he was invited by the host country?” Ratu Inoke asked.
He said it unacceptable to Fiji for Commodore Bainimarama to be asked to stay out and be invited in later.
According to Ratu Inoke, his PNG counterpart resolved the matter before the opening.
At the opening Mr O’Neill especially welcomed Commodore Bainimarama.
“I wish to make a special welcome to Fiji’s prime minister. I sincerely hope that his participation will be good for the Pacific community,” Mr O’Neill said.
The chair of the Pacific Islands Forum, Cook Islands prime minister, Henry Puna also welcomed Commodore Bainimarama.
He said the meeting was specifically held to discuss Fiji’s participation at Pacific ACP meetings at all levels.