New Zealand PM sees no change to stance on Fiji

09:40, July 26, 2010      

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The Pacific Islands Forum's stance against Fiji's continued military government is expected to be reaffirmed when the forum meets in Vanuatu next week, New Zealand Prime Minister John Key said on Monday.

Fiji Prime Minister Voreqe Commodore Bainimarama has said that Fiji would be ready for elections and a return to democracy in 2014, but Australia and New Zealand are undermining efforts to achieve that.

Australia and New Zealand declined to attend an "Engaging Fiji" meeting in Nadi, Fiji, last week, an event organized after the formal Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG) meeting scheduled to be held in Fiji on Monday was called off.

Bainimarama said Australia had conspired to dissuade Pacific nations from attending the MSG meeting. Tensions led to Australia' s acting high commissioner Sarah Roberts being expelled from Fiji this month.

Key told TVNZ on Monday that there is no reason the Bainimarama should break his promise of holding elections in 2014, and that New Zealand is prepared to help financially or in any other way to ensure that happened.

"I think we should remain resolute in our commitment to excluding Fiji from the forum until he demonstrates he is going to hold those elections," Key said.

He said he disagreed with Bainimarama's assertion that New Zealand and Australia kept "hitting them in the side".

No action had been taken by high commission staff in trying to undermine any informal meetings of island nations, he said.

Fiji was expelled from the Pacific Islands Forum last year and Key said he expected members would retain that stance at next week ' s Pacific Islands Fourm meeting.

Source: Xinhua

(Editor:李牧(实习))

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