Monday, 13 July 2009 7:30 AM

Fiji Wins Support of Melanesian Spearhead Group

Fiji's interim regime has won the support of the Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG) for the lifting of its suspension from the Pacific Islands Forum.

According to Australia Network News, following Friday's meeting with the Prime Ministers of Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands and Vanuatu, regime leader, Frank Bainimarama, 'won their support for the lifting of the suspension of Fiji from the Pacific Islands Forum'.

According to the report, the announcement came at the end of a day-long meeting of the leaders at a retreat in Vanuatu where the chairman of the group, Vanuatu Prime Minister Edward Natapei, stated that 'the leaders praised Mr Bainimarama's "Strategic Framework for Change" laid out in a recent address'.

Mr Natapei says Mr Bainimarama's plan reflects a clear vision to achieve sustainable democracy.

The plan would allow Mr Bainimarama to stay in power for at least another five years without elections.

Papua New Guinea's Prime Minister, Sir Michael Somare, says he has been convinced that some of Mr Bainimarama's plans were good for Fiji.

The Melanesian countries say they'll take Fiji's case to the Pacific Islands Forum at next month's meeting in Cairns, Australia.


Fiji was suspended from the Forum in May after failing to adhere to the forum's deadline for holding a national election.