AIR NAURU CHARTERING A SPECIAL FLIGHT FOR KIRIBATI PRESIDENT TITO

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SUVA, Fiji Islands (February 27, 2001 – Radio Australia)---Air Nauru is chartering a special flight tomorrow to pickup passengers stranded in Fiji because of the airline's grounding for safety reasons.

Radio Australia correspondent Sean Dorney reports that among those stranded is the President of Kiribati.

"President Teburoro Tito of Kiribati is the current chairman of the Pacific Islands Forum and he has been in Fiji on Forum business, part of which included telling Fiji it had missed out on hosting this year's Forum summit meeting in August because of objections, principally from New Zealand and Australia.

"Nauru will get the forum instead.

"But Air Nauru, which serves Kiribati, has let the president down, being unable to take him home as scheduled today, because the Australian Civil Aviation Safety Authority has grounded the airline until certain safety issues can be addressed.

"The Forum's secretariat says it has been informed that Air Nauru has chartered a plane that will fly President Tito home to Kiribati tomorrow.

"Sean Dorney, Radio Australia, Suva."

For additional reports from Radio Australia, go to PACIFIC ISLANDS REPORT News/Information Links: Radio/TV News/Radio Australia.

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