Vice President Alik Alik Attended the Pacific Islands Forum Special Leader' Retreat
Palikir, Pohnpei (FSM Information Services): February 16, 2009 - Heads of State and Government of Australia, the Cook Islands, Kiribati, Nauru, New Zealand, Niue, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu and Vanuatu; and representatives of Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji and Palau; met in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea on January 27, 2009 to discuss the situation in Fiji. Vice President Alik attended on behalf of the FSM.
At the Forum Retreat, the leaders once again expressed their disapproval of the failure of the Fiji Interim Government to demonstrate the necessary political resolve to fulfill the promises made to Forum Leaders in 2007 that it would hold parliamentary elections by March 2009. They agreed that more than two years of rule by an unelected military government, with no clear timetable for the return of constitutional government to the people, is not acceptable by international standards, and they called on the Interim Government to select an election date by May 1, 2009 and hold elections before the end of December 2009. If the Interim Government does not meet these requests, the Forum Leaders agreed to the suspension of participation by Fiji in all Forum meetings and events and that Fiji would become ineligible to benefit from Forum sponsored regional cooperation initiatives and new financial and technical assistance.
Upon return from Papua New Guinea, Vice President Alik stated that the Forum Leaders were able to agree on a course that would help move forward the election in Fiji. He hopes that FSM can continue to contribute to the positive outcomes that the PIF will have on our region in the future.
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