New Zealand PM reiterates offer to Fiji to help it restore democracy

15:06, September 01, 2010      

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New Zealand Prime Minister John Key has said his government is willing to help the Fiji interim government restore democracy.

Key made the remarks in his "New Zealand in the World" speech to the New Zealand Institute of International Affairs in Wellington on Tuesday.

Key said it is critical Fiji leader Voreqe Commodore Bainimarama to engages with all the relevant stakeholders in Fiji, including other political parties.

Key said that New Zealand is prepared to give Fiji personnel and financial assistance to help restore democracy.

"We just hope that Frank Bainimarama will honor his commitment to holding elections in 2014 and New Zealand is prepared to give Fiji whatever support they might need in terms of personnel or financial assistance," he told the 300-strong audience, including diplomats and former politicians.

He said New Zealand led the charge at the recent Pacific Islands Forum to include Fiji in Pacific Agreement on Closer Economic Agreement (PaACER) Plus talks on greater economic unity in the region.

Key also said New Zealand has reduced the ban on Fiji sporting teams traveling to New Zealand and the only sanctions that remain are on travel by Fijian administration members and their immediate family.

"My government has tried to reach out and offer the hand of friendship to Fiji. We want to see democracy restored there and we are working very aggressively to make that happen," he added.

Source: Xinhua


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