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Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Solomons Opposition deplores government decision to skip Forum Meetings in Tonga

The Solomons' Parliamentary Opposition deplores government's decision to boycott the Pacific Islands Forum leaders meeting now underway in Tonga.

Opposition Leader Fred Fono says the boycott proves that Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare and his cabinet are not prepared to answer questions from forum islands leaders over the government's attitude towards RAMSI.

Mr Fono says the government's decision is not only shameful, but also disgraceful and disrespectful to forum leaders attempting to strengthen regional co-operation.

He says Solomon Islands cannot afford to isolate itself from Pacific Islands regional organisations who are recognized by international financial and aid institutions.

The opposition leader says Foreign minister Patteson Oti and National Planning Minister Steve Abana should return home because they are not attending the forum meeting yesterday and leaders retreat today.

He says attending the post forum dialogue tomorrow would not mean much because their boycott of the main forum sessions would likely impact badly on their meetings with dialogue partners who have a lot of respect for the forum.

Reports from Nuku'alofa say the Foreign Affairs Minister Mr Oti has confirmed he will not attend the Plenary Session and the Leaders Retreat of the 38th Pacific Forum Leaders meeting yesterday and today.

Mr Oti, told Government Communications Unit that the country's non-attendance follows a Cabinet decision.

It however reports Mr Oti attended several side meetings during his stay in Tonga, including Monday's Pacific A-C-P Leaders Meeting and the M-S-G Breakfast Meeting yesterday.

The Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare boycotted the meeting and over the weekend travelled to Taiwan instead.

Source: SIBC

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