9 May 2007

Condoleeza Rice should note progress - says Bainimarama

9:51 am on 9 May 2007

Fiji's interim prime minister says the US secretary of state, Condoleeza Rice, should note that Fiji is working towards democracy and good governance.

Commodore Bainimarama made the comment in response to a speech in Washington yesterday in which Ms Rice said the United States is deeply concerned about the overthrow of the elected government in Fiji.

She said the Pacific cannot devolve into an area where strong men unilaterally decide the fates of their country and destabilize the democratic foundations of their neighbours.

But referring to the US Declaration of Independence, Commodore Bainimarama says the fate of the United States itself was decided by strong men 200 years ago.

Commodore Bainimarama says other countries have worse problems but Fiji has made good progress since December 5 and shown its commitment towards restoration of parliamentary democracy.

He says Ms Rice should note the level of corruption concerned and that Fiji is working towards democracy and good governance.

Meanwhile, Fiji's interim cabinet has endorsed the commitments made by a ministerial delegation to the European Union for a return to elected government at the earliest time possible.