Taneti Maamau

Puna and Maamau embrace as Pacific unites once again

The 5th Pacific Islands Forum (PIF) Special Leaders Retreat, labelled as a significant milestone, began in the tourism hotspot, Denarau Island, near Nadi, on Thursday morning.

Kiribati, which announced its withdrawal from PIF last year, is back in the fold and the Micronesian nation's return to the Forum family is a key focus of the special meeting.

President, Taneti Maamau, was greeted by the man who has been at the public face of the tensions, PIF secretary-general, Henry Puna on Wednesday.

Taneti Maamau declared new president of Kiribati

In a nationwide live declaration, Sir Muria confirmed this after the counting of votes from yesterday's Presidential election, declaring Mr Maamau the president after he won a majority of votes at nearly 20,000.

An Air Kiribati special flight is heading to Onotoa Island to pick up President elect Taneti Maamau and bring him to the capital to receive the Presidential seal.