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MSG at odds over where to hold next summit

Tuesday 31 May 2016 | Published in Regional

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papau NEW GUINEA – Leaders of Melanesian Spearhead Group member states are debating where and when to hold their special summit which has been postponed twice.

A special MSG leaders summit, which was originally scheduled for Port Vila at the start of May, was rescheduled for Port Moresby late last week before being postponed again.

The MSG chair Manassaeh Sogavare is now in the PNG capital in his capacity as Solomon Islands Prime Minister to attend a summit of the EU’s African, Carribean and Pacific Group.

The secretary to the MSG Chair, Rence Sore, said while in Port Moresby Sogavare would be in talks with other MSG leaders.

“The leaders are talking at the margins of the ACP meeting. They are going to decide on the new dates, on the venue. It’s going to be anywhere –either Port Vila, either Nadi, Suva, Solomons or New Caledonia.”

Sore said the Solomons government was concerned that the secretary-general of the United Liberation Movement, Octo Mote, was denied entry to PNG in recent days.

It’s understood that Mote was travelling to Port Moresby to assist the Vanuatu and Solomon Islands governments in their representations on West Papua at the ACP summit.

He had also been preparing for the upcoming MSG summit when a decision on the Liberation Movement’s bid for full membership in the MSG was to be discussed.

Sore said that as the ULMWP leader, Mote should have been accorded some courtesy, but that it was PNG’s jurisdiction to assert its authority as it saw fit.

However, with Mote and other Liberation Movement representatives expected to attend the upcoming MSG summit, there’s an increased likelihood that the venue could be moved from Port Moresby.

- RNZI