30 Nov 2006

Fiji PM says coup risk lowered after Wellington talks

4:45 pm on 30 November 2006

Fiji's Prime Minister Laisenia Qarase says the threat of a coup which had been mentioned by Australia has faded since his talks with the military commander Commodore Frank Bainimarama in New Zealand.

Mr Qarase, who is back in Suva, says he believes there has been a good outcome from the discussions and he is now more confident the nation's political crisis can be resolved.

He has been faced with threats from the military commander, Commodore Frank Bainimarama, to oust the government over policy issues.

The tension has prompted travel warnings to be issued by some countries, including, New Zealand and Australia.

But Mr Qarase says none of the problems have any effect of the tourism areas in the west of the main island, Viti Levu.

"I think Australia tends to overreact most of the time. Our holiday resorts [are] in the western part of the country where it is always peaceful. It is absolutely fantastic at the moment."

Laisenia Qarase