Prime Minister Sogavare leaves for PNG

Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare

Chairman of the Melanesian Spearhead Group, Solomon Islands Prime Minister, Manasseh Sogavare, has left for Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea’s national capital to complete his visit of MSG capitals.

Mr Sogavare already visited two other MSG capitals of Port Vila, Vanuatu, and Suva, Fiji in January.

He did not travel to Port Moresby because his counterpart, Peter O’Neil was unavailable at the time.

Mr Sogavare did meet New Caledonia’s FLNKs representative in his January visit to Port Vila.

And while in Suva in January, Mr Sogavare witnessed the signing of the new Melanesian Free Trade Agreement by Fiji’s Prime Minister, Frank Bainimarama.

He described Mr Bainimarama’s signing of the new MSG Free Trade Agreement as a milestone for the Melanesian sub-regional grouping.

Fiji was second to Solomon Islands to have signed the new Free Trade Agreement, it signed last year.

Although the Prime Minister’s Office has yet to confirm the issues the two MSG leaders are likely to discuss in Port Moresby, the issue of PNG signing the new MSG Free Trade Agreement may be raised.

Vanuatu and New Caledonia are yet to sign the new sub-regional free trade agreement.

Meanwhile, the Prime Minister’s Office says Prime Minister Sogavare will return to Honiara on March 19.

He will return to Honiara ahead of the resumption of meeting of Parliament, now adjourned, to March 28.

In his absence, the Deputy Prime Minister and Home Affairs Minister, Manasseh Maelanga will be acting Prime Minister.

By George Atkin, for OPMC Press