A senior Cook Islands Government official has played down media reports that he spoke supportively of the Fiji military regime while attending a conference in Fiji.
The comments by Secretary of Agriculture, Anthony Brown, don't tally with the Cook Islands' official position that Fiji needs to promptly return to democracy.
Mr Brown claims his comments were made in a private conversation and was not aware he was speaking to a reporter at the Fiji conference.
The Cook Islands Ministry of Foreign Affairs has put out a statement, saying Mr Brown was not in a position to comment on foreign policy matters.
It's not yet known if he'll suffer any disciplinary action over the comments.