28 Feb 2007

US calls on Fiji military to return country to democracy

7:51 pm on 28 February 2007

The United States has urged Fiji to return to democratic rule, saying it will consider easing its post-coup restrictions in return.

The US Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Glyn Davis made the offer to Fiji's military regime, demanding it also put an end to human rights abuses in the country.

He says it is unfortunate that the Fiji military's hard-won reputation for protecting international human rights abroad has been tarnished by serious abuses of those same human rights at home.

The US push echoes calls by Australia and New Zealand for military commander and self-appointed interim Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama to restore democracy.

Commodore Bainimarama has said Fiji would not be ready for a general election until 2010.