7 Jan 2009

Fiji's interim Attorney General says Bainimarama waiting to hear from NZ

8:02 am on 7 January 2009

Fiji's interim Attorney General, Aiyaz Sayed Khaiyum says his interim Prime Minister is waiting to hear from New Zealand after it was suggested setting up a committee to look at improving relations between the two countries.

This suggestion was made in a letter after New Zealand's acting high commissioner was expelled following allegations that her behavior towards the interim government was hostile.

The committee would be headed by the interim Local Government Minister Filipe Bole, a former foreign affairs minister.

Mr Sayed- Khaiyum says the committee was suggested as a way to expedite discussions over the way forward:

"There was a suggestion in terms of having a committee, but your Prime Minister may come back and say not we want to engage at a direct Prime Minister to Prime Minister level, so be it, but we're quite open, we've always been open to discussions and finding a diplomatic solution and engaging at a diplomatic level, so this is on of the suggestions, but not the only suggestion."

Mr Sayed- Khaiyum says there could well be talks with New Zealand at this month's special Pacific Islands Forum meeting in Papua New Guinea, which has been called to discuss Fiji.