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Regional gathering to be in Cairns this August

SUVA, Fiji (Fijilive, April 6, 2009) – The 40th Pacific Islands Forum Leaders’ meeting will be hosted by Australia this year.

The meeting is scheduled for August 4-7 in Cairns.

A statement from the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat (PIFS) stated the dates were confirmed following consultations between the host of this year’s meet and other members of the forum.

It is likely that the issue of Fiji holding elections will once again spring to the fore of discussions, among other issues such as the economic crisis.

Last year, Fiji’s interim Prime Minister Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama was not given a visa to travel to New Zealand where the Pacific Island leaders met.

However, Australia had been more relaxed than New Zealand’s sanctions on Fiji.

The last PIF meeting was held in Niue with the leaders’ retreat in New Zealand.

A special meeting of the Forum Leaders was held this year in Papua New Guinea (PNG) with the resolution for Fiji to hold elections this year and have a timetable ready by May.

The leaders are expected to discuss her progress at the next forum leaders meeting to be held in Cairns.


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