7 Nov 2006

Australian prime minister says he won't send foreign minister to sort out tensions in Fiji

7:27 pm on 7 November 2006

Prime Minister John Howard says he has no plans to send Foreign Minister Alexander Downer to Fiji to try to resolve growing tensions.

But Mr Howard says it's possible that there could be a meeting of Pacific Island Forum foreign ministers to discuss invoking a declaration made after the 2000 Fiji coup.

The Biketawa declaration allows forum governments to intervene in a crisis in another forum country at its invitation.

Fiji's military has accused Australia and New Zealand of smuggling police into the Pacific country to intervene in its political crisis.

Both countries have denied the claim, although Australia says it sent extra staff to boost security at its high commission in case of a violent military coup following threats to unseat Prime Minister Laisenia Qarase.