PIF Secretary General hopes dialogue can heal rift

Earlier this year Mr Puna, who had been Cook Islands prime minister, got the job ahead of the Marshall Island's candidate, Gerald Zackios.

This prompted the five Micronesian member countries to say they would leave the Forum because they expected the role to go to their candidate.

Groups within the Forum are currently trying to resolve the rift and Mr Puna said, while he is not involved, he puts great store in people talking through problems to resolve them.