15 Sep 2008

Commonwealth leaders to discuss Fiji in New York

11:19 am on 15 September 2008

Commonwealth foreign ministers will meet in New York later this month to discuss developments in Fiji following Commodore Frank Bainimarama's back down from his promise to hold elections by March.

A media statement from the Commonwealth said the foreign ministers action group will on September 21 review developments in Fiji and consider step to encourage its return to democracy.

The Commonwealth suspended Fiji in December 2006 and last month the Pacific Islands Forum leaders unanimously agreed to consider suspending Fiji if it did not re-commit to the March elections by the end of this year.

One of Fiji's staunch critics, New Zealand foreign minister Winston Peters will not be present because of a Serious Fraud Office investigation.

However, New Zealand's position will not change.

The Prime Minister, Helen Clarke, who is looking after Foreign Affairs, has delegated the Trade Minister, Phil Goff.