Fiji PM focuses on solidarity – Forum Chair Bainimarama wants to rebuild ‘trust and confidence’ in the region

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Fijian Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama says a key focus of his tenure as chair of the Pacific Islands Forum(PIF) will be to restore solidarity in the region.

He made the comment Wednesday while speaking in support of a motion that Parliament ratifies the 2005 agreement that established the PIF.

Bainimarama said part of his key focus was rebuilding “trust and confidence in our relationship as a Forum family”.

“I intend to do just that,” he said.

“And most assuring was the support of the President of the United States of America, first time ever to address the forum, for the first time since its establishment, on my invitation.

“This is the level of commitment that we are talking about in our regional and international collaboration.”

Bainimarama also said he would also focus on bringing Nauru, the Federated States of Micronesia, Kiribati, Marshall Islands and Palau back into the PIF fold.

“Pacific leaders have entrusted me with a responsibility to lead the political dialogue process to resolve the current impasse in the region.

“I am pleased that the political dialogue process that Fiji proposed has been approved by all Pacific countries and I am fully committed to have ongoing dialogue with our Micronesian family to nurture understanding and find an amicable resolution.”

The Micronesian member states quit the PIF after expressing disappointment that Micronesian candidate Gerald Zackios was overlooked for the Secretary-General position in favour of Cook Island candidate Henry Puna.

SOURCE: FIJI TIMES/PACNEWS