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Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Pacific Island Conference of Leaders meeting begins in Washington last night

The eight Pacific Island Conference of Leaders meeting got underway in Washington last night.

Historically the tri-annual conference has provided a venue for discussion on co-operation and development. But with coups, riots and unrest featuring largely across the Pacific in the past 18 months or so, politics and stability are also on the agenda.

And for the first time as a group, the conference will be meeting with the US Department of State, who are also meeting with the aid donor and development sponsors in the Pacific region.

According to Mr Sitiveni Halapua, Director of Pacific Island Development at the East West Center in Hawaii, which organised the conference says the meeting will mainly focus on eminent issues in Fiji, Tonga and the Solomon Islands.

Mr Halapua also adds that the meeting will also focus on various strategic issues, regional and global security as well as development assistance and cooperation.

It is understood the US have earmarked 2007 as the year of the Pacific in a move to mend and strengthen relations with Pacific Island countries.

Source: Pacific Beat

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