Fiji Respects Appointment Of Forum Secretary General

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Minister: Post-Courier story ‘inaccurate and misleading’

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (PNG Post-Courier, Oct. 7, 2014) – Fiji says it respects the Pacific Island Forum’s decision to appoint Papua New Guinea’s Dame Meg Taylor as its secretary-general.

Fiji’s High Commissioner to PNG, Romanu Tikotikoca, in a statement dated October 2, said the high commission had submitted a letter to correct misinformation being circulated in blog sites pertaining to Dame Meg’s assumption of the post.

Mr Tikotikoca reiterated the Fiji government’s respect of the PIF decision of appointing Dame Meg and looked forward to welcoming her in Suva next month.

PNG Foreign Affairs Minister Rimbink Pato met his Fiji counterpart Ratu Inoke Kubuabola on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in New York last week and discussed, among other things, the arrangement to meet Mr Pato who will accompany Dame Meg for her first visit to Fiji as PIF secretary general.

[PIR editor’s note: PNG Post-Courier reported that ‘Fiji High Commissioner Tikotikoca stated in his letter, and so did Foreign Affairs Minister Honourable Ratu Inoke Kubuabola, today that the people and Government of Papua New Guinea have shown unwavering support and guidance during Fijis recent political history and contributed immensely towards Fijis return to democratic governance and accordingly the new Government of Fiji remains grateful and is basis of how Fiji values the continuing good relations between our two countries.’]

"Plans for this visit include an appointment with Prime Minister Admiral Voreqe Bainimarama, with deference to Dame Meg Taylor’s new appointment," Mr Tikotikoca said.

Mr Pato in a statement yesterday confirmed the meeting, adding that at 2.40pm (PNG time) he yesterday received a telephone call from Mr Kubuabola, expressing disgust and disappointment at the Post-Courier report "because he confirmed that the material contained in the newspaper report was inaccurate and misleading in its entirety".

"The Fijian Foreign Affairs Minister expressed clearly that there are no issues at all with respect to Dame Meg Taylor’s appointment and her taking up residency in Suva in connection with it on the part of the Government of Fiji," Mr Pato said.

"Indeed her employment visa for the position, were as discussed and agreed in New York between us and he is awaiting Dame Meg Taylor and myself to advise him of a date when we will travel to Fiji in November."

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