18 Apr 2003

Fiji prime minister and Labour Party leader hold one-to-one talks

10:50 am on 18 April 2003

Fiji's prime minister, Laisenia Qarase, and Labour Party leader, Mahendra Chaudhry, have successfully completed their first talks after a six month stand-off.

The one-to-one meeting took place behind closed doors without any officials present.

The two men have agreed to hold their next discussions after the Supreme Court rules on the government's appeal against the inclusion of Labour in the government.

Radio Fiji says both men discussed a wide range of issues in their talks, including the multi-party cabinet, land leases, the sugar industry restructure and changes to the constitution.

The radio says one issue on which the two men have very different views is the proposal for a government of national unity, raised by Mr Chaudhry.

Mr Qarase says the issue is to be discussed later.

Both men have appointed a small committee consisting of three members from each side to look into the three important issues to be discussed at the next talks.