20 Oct 2008

Academic calls for resumption of Fiji Joint Working Group talks to be widened

8:09 pm on 20 October 2008

An Australian based academic has welcomed the planned resumption of talks between the Pacific Islands Forum and Fiji but says the scope of the talks should be widened to include the need for dialogue within Fiji.

The Australian National University's Jon Frankel says the decision by the Fiji Interim Government to re-join the Forum's Joint Working Group shows the value of the international community working together.

Dr Fraenkel says the threat of suspension from the Forum and the realisation that other international bodies such as the Commonwealth, the European Union and the United Nations recognise it as the premier regional organisation, appear to have convinced Fiji to resume talks.

He says any lasting solution to the crisis in Fiji requires widespread support.

"They should also get involved in the dialogue issues. The attempts to bring the various parties together and that includes the SDL leadership, it includes important players like the Mick Beddoes, the National Federation party, the Labour Party as well, maybe also other senior officers within the military."

Dr Jon Fraenkel