'Opportunity lost' as Aust PM to stay home from Palau Forum summit | Pacific Beat

'Opportunity lost' as Aust PM to stay home from Palau Forum summit

'Opportunity lost' as Aust PM to stay home from Palau Forum summit

Updated 25 July 2014, 9:22 AEST

Australia's Prime Minister Tony Abbott won't be attending the Pacific Islands Forum in Palau next week.

It would have been Mr Abbott's first apportunity to meet Pacific leaders since his election last September, and there are many items on the agenda in which Australia has a keen interest.

But in light of the downing of flight MH17 over Ukraine and other pressing matters, like his government's budget, Mr Abbott has decided a trip to the Pacific is no longer possible.

Deputy Prime Minister Warren Truss will lead the Australian delegation instead.

The Lowy Institute's Vanuatu-based non-resident Fellow, Dr Tess Newton Cain says an opportunity has been missed.

Presenter: Jemima Garrett

Speaker: Dr Tess Newton Cain, non-resident Fellow, Lowy Institute

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