23 Aug 2008

Fiji leader warns country to be wary of New Zealand and Australia

9:09 am on 23 August 2008

Fiji's interim Prime Minister has warned members of the Pacific Island Forum to be wary of Australia and New Zealand.

The Fijilive website quotes a statement to the nation in which Commodore Bainimarama accuses New Zealand and Australia of usurping the moral leadership of the region.

In his first public response to the criticisms leveled against him by the Forum leaders, the interim prime minister refers to what he calls " the emerging and threatening dominance of the Forum by the two developed metropolitan powers, Australia and New Zealand".

He says "the Pacific Island countries will need to be vigilant to protect the Forum organisation becoming a foreign policy tool of those two countries."