5 Aug 2010

NZ and Australia should not be in Pacific Forum - Fiji

12:00 pm on 5 August 2010

Commodore Frank Bainimarama has continued his criticism of New Zealand and Australia, saying they should not be part of the Pacific Islands Forum.

The Forum leaders summit is being held in Vanuatu this week, without Fiji, which was suspended last year over its refusal to hold elections before 2014.

Commodore Bainimarama told the ABC's Foreign Correspondent there used to be a lot of togetherness in the Forum, but now there's a lot of infighting.

"They crept in slowly like the proverbial camel, you know, with their head in, and then their front legs, and then their back legs, and all of a sudden, the owners of the tent were out, and they were inside the tent," he said.

"I don't think they should be in the forum. They are not Pacific Islanders."

Commodore Bainimarama said he does not expect other Pacific countries to fight Fiji's case to be allowed back into the forum.

New Zealand Prime Minister John Key has dismissed the comments as ridiculous.

Commodore Bainimarama took power in Fiji in a military coup in December 2006. It was the fourth coup there since 1987.