Funafuti, Tuvalu (9 July, 2019): The caretaker Government of Tuvalu has taken the initiative to establish partnership with the island community of Funafuti, through peaceful dialogue to take place on Wednesday 10 July, 2019.
Prime Minister Enele Sosene Sopoaga said in the wake of the blocking of the runway by the Funafuti community this month over their land issue, the Cabinet has agreed to initiate peaceful talks with the community leaders, to discuss a way forward that is beneficial to both parties and the nation.
Prime Minister Sopoaga said the issue has prompted questions from leaders of other Forum Island Leaders especially the troika, whether Tuvalu is still able to host the 2019 Pacific Forum leaders’ meeting in August.
Tuvalu was given a week to report back to the Pacific leaders.
The dialogue however will not be discussing the lands issue but will be focussing on how both parties can work cooperatively and in partnership, maybe even establishing a Joint Consultative Body.
Prime Minister said this is not an issue for the law to settle. “We have to look into us, to our Tuvalu way of life and how it resolves such issues.”
The dialogue which will have no set agenda, will be held on neutral ground and forged on customs and traditions and mutual respect.
Sopoaga said, “The outcome of the dialogue will be the way forward.”
In the name of partnership and of looking out for its neighbours as its Oceania family, the Australian Government has gifted Tuvalu Government another patrol boat – Te Mataili II – in the phase two of its Pacific-class Patrol Boat Program.