Bainimarama in his opening message at the Pacific islands Development Forum said Australian and New Zealand needs to stop undermining the PIDF by actively lobbying governments and leaders of the South Pacific to not attend the Summit.
In a statement sent to FBC NEWS, the Ausralian High Commission says the PIF is stronger when it represents all of the Pacific region and works with one voice.
Bainimarama had said island nations need to dialogue freely, without influence from larger powers who are not Pacific Small Island Developing States and who have different interests.
However Australia says it shares Bainimarama’s view that the PIDF is no threat to the PIF and welcomes any contribution it can make to the prosperity and inclusive development of the region.
Adding that Australia welcomes Bainimarama’s statement earlier this year that Fiji would participate in all PIF meetings up to the ministerial level.
Meanwhile the New Zealand High Commission is yet to respond.