Australian foreign minister disappointed over the withdrawal of invitation to Fiji

16:25, June 03, 2010      

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Australian Foreign Minister Stephen Smith on Thursday said it was "very disappointing" an invitation to Fiji has been withdrawn.

Fiji's self-appointed Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama has retracted an invitation to Smith, in the wake of comments he made about Fiji not returning to democracy.

"That's very disappointing and deeply regrettable," Smith told Sky News.

Smith said that since the last regional meeting "things had gone backwards in Fiji in an economic sense, in a political sense, in a freedom of speech sense".

"So we continue to be very concerned."

Smith said he wanted to continue a dialogue with Fiji about returning to democracy.

Commodore Bainimarama seized power in a 2006 coup, and has deferred elections, sacked judges and censored the media.

Source: Xinhua

(Editor:张茜)

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