10 Jul 2015

Nauru and NZ to meet further, disagree on some issues

4:03 pm on 10 July 2015

New Zealand's Foreign Minister Murray McCully says New Zealand and Nauru will have further meetings over concerns about alleged violations of civil and political rights on the island.

Nauru's President Baron Waqa at the Pacific Islands Forum foreign ministers meeting in Sydney.

Nauru's President Baron Waqa at the Pacific Islands Forum foreign ministers meeting in Sydney. Photo: AFP

Mr McCully met with the president of Nauru Baron Waqa in Sydney yesterday.

In a statement he said Mr Waqa disputed some aspects of international media reporting of events on the island.

Mr McCully said he and Mr Waqa clearly disagreed on some issues and Mr Waqa has offered to provide more information.

The minister said Nauru understood New Zealand had a special interest in developments as it provided more than $1 million in aid for the justice sector.

Mr MCully said he wanted his officials to complete discussions before the next tranche of aid due in August this year.

180714. Photo RNZ. Foreign Minister Murray McCully talking with media about the Mayalsia Airlines MH17 flight.

Murray McCully Photo: RNZ

Earlier, Australia's foreign minister Julie Bishop said she would also speak against with Mr Waqa over concerns about rule of law on the island.

Five opposition MPs have been expelled from parliament for more than a year, with three of them now facing criminal charges after a protest outside Parliament in June, while another has had his passport suspended.

There has also been widespread criticism of new laws that restrict freedom of expression and assembly, as well as restrictions on internet access and social media.

Ms Bishop told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation that Australia wants to ensure openess, transparency and accountability to the international community.

"These are domestic matters but we urge there to be an adherence to the rule of law, that their justice system operates properly, that people are not denied natural justice, that they're given an opportunity to present their case, but I've had one confidential discussion with the president and I'll be having another one today," she said.

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