10 May 2007

EU monitoring whether Fiji's interim regime is meeting commitments

3:38 pm on 10 May 2007

The head of the European Commission delegation in Fiji, Roberto Ridolfi, says they do table concerns with the interim regime over its commitments on meeting democratic principles.

Mr Ridolfi has warned the interim administration that 400 million Fiji dollars of EU funding is at risk unless it meets its agreement to lift the state of emergency this month, uphold human rights and hold general elections within two years.

Prior to the warning, the regime extended the emergency provisions until the end of the month, which it is legally able to do, but does not accord with the spirit of the agreement.

Mr Ridolfi says there is close monitoring of the situation going on although a timetable is yet to be set for penalties to be imposed if the commitments aren't met.

"The European Commission is tabling for the European Council a decision that will link all this money to the various matching of commitments by actions. The important aspect is the respect and the follow up with actions on the commitments, with a date attached to them, which are in the hands of the interim government."

Dr Roberto Ridolfi.

Meanwhile, Fiji's interim attorney general, Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum, has stressed that the interim administration will adhere to the commitments.

He says the interim administration is preparing its report which was a part of those commitments and it will be handed to the EU before the June deadline.

He says Fiji would not have given those commitments if there was no intention of adhering to them.