PM Sikua denies Island Sun Newspaper report that he snub Rudd's presentation due to being drunk
The Prime Minister's Office categorically denies the allegations made against the Prime Minister by the Island Sun.
It says it's very unfortunate that the newspaper sees fit to print such misleading statement without checking to substantiate their stories.
The Prime Minister's Office says at no time did the Prime Minister snub Australia's Prime Minister Kevin Rudd.
The PMO says Sikua was unable to be present when Mr Rudd delivered his statement because he had to attend to three other commitments.
Dr Sikua had to meet Forum leaders at the Fiji Mission on the Fiji situation, which took place at the same time of Mr Rudd delivered his statement.
This was followed by meetings with the President of Marshall Islands and the Prime Minister of Tonga also on the Fiji situation.
The meeting at the Fiji Mission was called for by Prime Minister Frank Bainirama and was also attended by the Presidents of Nauru, Kiribati, Marshall Islands and the Prime Minister of Tuvalu, the Foreign Minister of Papua New Guinea and other Forum representatives.
Dr Sikua therefore asked the Chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, Laurie Chan to be present when Mr Rudd delivered his statement and to pass on his apologies.
Mr Chan was present when the Australian Prime minister delivered his statement and he also apologised on behalf of Dr Sikua.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Sikua had already informed Prime Minister Rudd earlier during the week, that due to commitments, he would not be present when he delivered his statement, and Mr Rudd understood and accepted Dr Sikua's apologies.
The Prime Minister's Office says allegations that Dr Sikua snubbed Mr Rudd because he was drinking is false.
The Office of the Prime Minister appeals to the media to be responsible in their reporting and to stop misleading the public.