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PNG hands over Chairmanship of Melanesian Spearhead Group to Vanuatu

The Special Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG) Leaders Summit successfully concluded Wednesday with the handing over of the MSG Chairmanship from Papua New Guinea to Vanuatu in a moving ceremony in Fiji. The Summit was attended by Fiji's Prime Minister, Voreqe Bainimarama; Solomon Islands Prime Minister, Manasseh Sogavare; Vanuatu Prime Minister, Bob Loughman, Papua New Guinea Prime Minister, James Marape and...

Telstra completes $2.4b Digicel deal

Telstra has completed its acquisition of Digicel Pacific on behalf of the federal government, which funded the majority of the US$1.6 billion (AUD$2.4 billion) purchase price out of fears Beijing could pick up the assets and use it to spy on Australia and its closest neighbours. Telstra contributed just US$270 million to the deal, and said the tax dispute with...

Forum chair welcomes U.S support on Tuna Treaty

By Pita Ligaiula Fijian Prime Minister and Chair of the Pacific Islands Forum, Voreqe Bainimarama has welcomed the United States renewed engagement to the region by pledging an assistance of US$60 million on Tuna Treaty in next 10 years, a total of US$600 million. The Tuna Treaty Agreement funding was announced Wednesday by U.S Vice President Kamala Harris during her...

Pacific island leaders welcome U.S. pledge to triple funding for region

Pacific island leaders welcomed a pledge by the United States to triple aid to the region to combat illegal fishing, enhance maritime security and tackle climate change, after decades of stagnant U.S funding. U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris, in a video address to the Pacific Islands Forum in Suva on Wednesday, said U.S funding for Pacific islands would be tripled...

Kiribati ‘cooking something with China’ – former Kiribati president

Former Kiribati president Anote Tong suspects a major agreement is “cooking” between Beijing and Tarawa after the country's decision to quit the Pacific Islands Forum. Kiribati President Taneti Maamau's “surprise” announcement to abandon its membership from the region's premier policy and political body at the 51st Forum Leaders' meeting this week has heightened concerns the Micronesian nation is moving closer...

Pacific looks to international court for help on climate

Climate-threatened Pacific islands are pushing for the International Court of Justice to throw its weight behind efforts to arrest climate change, with the initiative gaining support at a key regional summit in Fiji Wednesday. The Pacific nation of Vanuatu is spearheading a campaign to ask The Hague-based tribunal “to protect the rights of present and future generations against the effects...

PM Albanese hugs Solomon Islands PM and preaches positivity at Pacific Islands Forum in Fiji

Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese and his Solomon Islands counterpart have hugged and greeted each other warmly while meeting face to face for the first time on the sidelines of the Pacific Islands Forum (PIF) in Fiji. Tensions between Australia and Solomon Islands have intensified in the wake of Honiara's decision to strike a contentious security pact with China. But the...

Australian support for Pacific does not come with strings attached: PM Albanese

By Pita Ligaiula Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese has reassured Pacific nations that his government support in the region does not come with strings attached. Albanese in an interview with Journalists, on the sidelines of the Pacific Islands Forum Leaders Meeting said it was important to engage in a respectful way. “We live in a period whereby we have strategic competition...

Fijian Police remove two Chinese defence attaches from Pacific Islands Forum meeting

Two Chinese defence attaches have been kicked out by Fijian police from a Pacific Islands Forum meeting at which the US vice-president, Kamala Harris, was giving a virtual address. The men were sitting in on a session of the Forum’s fisheries agency at which Harris announced the step-up of U.S engagement in the region, believed to be in response to...

U.S Vice President to request $600 million for ocean resilience in Pacific Islands

By Pita Ligaiula U.S Vice President Kamala Harris said Wednesday she will request U.S Congress for US$600 million in funding for economic development, ocean resilience and combat the scourge of illegal, unreported, and unregulated fishing in the Pacific region. Harris made the announcement when she participated virtually in the Pacific Islands Forum leaders’ meeting, hosted by Forum chair and Fijian...

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