Concerns raised at MSG summit about absence of key government figures

Concerns have been raised at the Melanesian Spearhead Group summit, underway in New Caledonia, about the absence of key government figures there.

Minister for Foreign Affairs Rimbink Pato had accompanied Prime Minister Peter O'Neill to Indonesia, and did not attend the MSG Foreign Ministers Meeting.

The Foreign Ministers Meeting is a lead up to the MSG Summit.

PNG's High Commissioner to Fiji, Peter Eafeare, was there on Mr Pato's behalf.

But the group of West Papuans attending the summit, say PNG's Foreign Minister's absence sends a signal that PNG is no longer interested in the region.

Prime Minister O'Neill is also not attending the MSG Summit due to pressing commitments at home, instead Deputy Prime Minister Leo Dion is attending on his behalf.

Meanwhile Mr O' Neill says Papua New Guinea is well represented at the Melanesian Spearhead Group Leaders' Summit in Noumea, through Deputy Prime Minister, Leo Dion.

Mr O' Neill says Mr Dion has represented PNG at several of these meetings and has done this well.

Mr O' Neill, who just returned from leading a trade mission to Indonesia, says he needed rest after the trip.
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