28 Jan 2009

EU disappointed over Fiji interim PM's non-attendance at Forum meeting

8:09 pm on 28 January 2009

The European Union says it's extremely disappointed that Fiji's interim prime minister didn't attend a meeting of Pacific Islands Forum leaders in Port Moresby.

The regional body has given Fiji until May the 1st to announce a date for elections, to be held this year.

If that doesn't happen, the Forum says targeted action will be taken, including suspension of participation in all Forum meetings.

The charge d'affaire for the European Commission in New Zealand, George Cunningham, says Fiji must hold democratic elections.

"We are studying at the moment the outcome in the communique. Our general position up to now is that we have followed the lead that the Pacific Islands forum is giving on the subject of Fiji."

George Cunningham says an earlier decision linking EU funding for Fiji's sugar industry to progess being made towards holding elections in that country still stands.