16 Oct 2007

EU welcomes opportunity to engage with Pacific at Forum

6:18 pm on 16 October 2007

A minister from the British Foreign Office has welcomed the opportunity to engage with the Pacific region over situations of concern, like in Fiji, at this week's Forum meeting in Tonga.

The British parliamentary under-secretary of state at the Foreign Office, Meg Munn, will travel to Nuku'alofa tomorrow for bilateral meetings with all Pacific leaders.

Ms Munn is also part of the European Union's representation at the Forum.

She says the EU's engagement with the Forum and the region as a whole is beneficial in applying the international community's pressure to restore democracy in a place like Fiji.

"To talk about both the issues of development and the challenges and economic issues is important, but also when you talk about the kind of human rights abuses (in) states which are not democratic, then those regional bodies can be very helpful in looking at how we can get states to move towards more democratic situations."

British MP Meg Munn