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Pacific Islands Forum leaders’ meeting in Vanuatu to be postponed

China has allegedly approached leaders on the Pacific island of Vanuatu about building a naval base. Photo: Twitter. China has allegedly approached leaders on the Pacific island of Vanuatu about building a naval base. Photo: Twitter. Sketched by the Pan Pacific Agency.

PORT VILA, Jun 2, 2020, RNZ. Vanuatu’s government has decided to postpone this year’s Pacific Islands Forum summit, possibly until next year. Vanuatu was due to host the meeting of the region’s leaders in August, Radio New Zealand reported.

The Council of Ministers said the impacts and uncertainty surrounding Covid-19 and the aftermath of Cyclone Harold led to the decision.

Vanuatu will talk with Fiji, which is due to host next year’s summit, about whether the Vanuatu meeting can be held in 2021.

The Vanuatu Daily Post reported the country was already scheduled to host a number of regional events in 2021, including the Pacific Community Leaders meeting.

The Ministries of Foreign Affairs and Finance & Economic Management have been asked to sort the financial obligations in regards to the non-hosting of the Forum meeting and finalise an expenditure report before the end of the 2020 financial year.

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