Monday, August 30, 2010

PM Danny Philip to engage direct talks with Fiji

Solomon Islands new Prime Minister Danny Philip said that his new coalition government will engage in direct talks with Fiji. Speaking to the media during a media conference following his sworn-in as the ninth Prime Minister of Solomon Islands, Mr. Philip said that under his leadership, his government will be working very closely with Fiji to maintain a healthy relationship.

The new Prime Minister stated that the isolation of Fiji by the South Pacific Forum is a serious mistake. He said that Fiji is the home of several regional organizations and significantly political leaders from Fiji are ones instrumental to the establishment of the South Pacific Forum.

Mr. Philip was optimistic that democratic rule will return to Fiji soon. He said, "as long as the Military regime is committed to returning their people to democratic rule, the question of timing should not be one of too much concern."

He said his government will discuss with the Interim Prime Minister, Commodore Frank Bainimarama to try and address issues of common interest. Mr. Philip pointed out that one of the areas his government will discuss with Commodore Bainimarama is to identify the areas of electoral reform now being embarked upon. He said that where possible his government will seek to ensure that the reforms are carried out with genuine committment. He said that it is genuine committment that is important, not the exact number of weeks or months it will take to hold democratic elections.

Meanwhile, the solomon star newspaper on 28th August 2010 reported that Fiji's Interim Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama have also expressed positive interest to working closely with the Solomon Islands new Prime Minister.

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