New Zealand FM calls for practical action from Fiji to restore Forum membership

14:44, August 05, 2010      

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New Zealand Foreign Minister Murray McCully has said New Zealand wants Fiji to become a regular member of the international community, to restore its membership of the Pacific Islands Forum and the Commonwealth, but "some practical action on their part" are required.

MuCully, who was in Port Vila to attend the 41st Pacific Islands Forum Leaders Meeting, told Xinhua on Wednesday that for his part, he would try his best to improve the diplomatic ties between New Zealand and Fiji,

He added that New Zealand will maintain contacts with Fiji.

The New Zealand foreign minister said he hoped the engagement with Fiji through the Pacific Islands Forum Ministerial Contact Group (MCG) will resume in the future, hopefully not too distant.

The MCG consists of foreign ministers of five Pacific Islands Forum countries -- Australia, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Samoa and Tuvalu and chaired by Tongan Prime Minister Feleti Sevele.

McCully has held two separate meetings with his Fijian counterpart Ratu Inoke Kubuabola as part of efforts to engage with Fiji.

But He noted that MCG had not seen any improvement in the situation in Fiji.

He said there is no basis for the MCG to recommend to Forum Leaders any further action to Fiji's current suspension.

Fiji was suspended from the Forum in May 2009 after it failed to meet the deadline of announcing the general elections date.

But there is still opportunity to have dialogue and engage with Fiji, he said.

Source: Xinhua


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