The MSG Chair during his meeting with the Acting Director General of the MSG Secretariat, Mr Molean Kilpak

    Chair of the Melanesian Spearhead Group Hon Manasseh Sogavare of Solomon Islands will be visiting the MSG Secretariat in Port Vila this morning.

    Hon Sogavare arrived in the Vanuatu capital late yesterday afternoon where he and his entourage were welcomed on arrival by the Acting Director General of the MSG Secretariat, Mr Molean Kilepak and his staff.

    The MSG Secretariat visit will be his first official appointment in Port Vila. Discussions during this engagement will focus on the way forward for the secretariat and the MSG at large in light of the organisation’s poor financial situation.

    It is understood that the MSG Secretariat’s poor financial has hampered its operations including the appointment of a new Director General and the implementation of its new Corporate Plan. The Director General position is currently vacant following the resignation of Mr Peter Forau last December whilst the new Corporate Plan was approved for adoption by the MSG Foreign Ministers’ Meeting of October 2015.

    Also at the MSG Secretariat, the MSG Chair will meet with the Manager of SPC (South Pacific Community) Solomon Islands Country Office, Ms Mia Rimon.

    The MSG Chair’s engagement at the secretariat will conclude with a Thanksgiving Service with the staff.

    On Thursday, the MSG Chair with his Vanuatu counterpart Prime Minister Charlot Silwai for a bilateral dialogue and presentation of the MSG Observer Report on the Vanuatu snap election.

    The bilateral discussions will touch on Vanuatu’s acceptance of the Solomon Islands High Commissioner to Fiji, His Excellency Patterson Oti as Solomon Islands non-resident High Commissioner to Vanuatu, Solomon Islands-Vanuatu Nursing MOU, Solomon Islands and Vanuatu Maritime boundary and Solomon Islands-Vanuatu Air Services Agreement.

    A former Solomon Islands Prime Minister, Sir Francis Billy Hilly, headed the MSG Observer Mission to the Vanuatu snap election.

    Also on Thursday, Prime Minister Sogavare will meet with Vanuatu’s Foreign Minister, Hon Bruno Leingkone. Discussions will explore ways of enhancing the bilateral relations between Solomon Islands and Vanuatu as well as the cooperation amongst MSG countries.

    Prime Minister Sogavare and his seven-member delegation will depart early Friday for the New Caledonian capital Noumea for a visit of the Political Bureau of the Front de Liberation Nationale Kanak et Socialiste (FLNKS).

    The FLNKS is a member of the MSG.

    Prime Minister Sogavare’s visit to Port Vila and Noumea is part of his 13-day tour of the MSG capitals.

    From Noumea, he and his entourage will travel on to Suva and finally on to Port Moresby where the tour will conclude.