VANUATU SUPPORTS NEW CALEDONIA FORUM BID

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Melanesian Spearhead Group to discuss proposal

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (RNZI, March 11, 2010) - Vanuatu has told New Caledonia it would support it becoming a full member of Pacific Islands Forum.

The Vanuatu Foreign Minister, Joe Natuman, made this declaration to the President of territorial government, Philippe Gomez, during a recent official visit to Nouméa.

Earlier this week Mr. Gomes put the proposal to the chair of the Pacific Islands Forum, Australia’s Prime Minister Kevin Rudd.

Mr. Natuman, who is also the chair of Melanesian Spearhead Group, also said, "New Caledonian involvement with that organization is possible, given the pro-independence FLNKS is now part of the collegial territorial government."

He says the MSG members will discuss the issue during the next leaders’ summit.

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