13 May 2008

Fiji remains suspended from Commonwealth councils

10:17 am on 13 May 2008

The Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group has decided to keep Fiji suspended from councils of the organisation.

A Commonwealth foreign ministers meeting in London said they had "grave concern" that Fiji was not going to honour its commitment to hold free and fair elections within a year.

New Zealand's Foreign Minister, Winston Peters, is on the Ministerial Action Group.

He says Fiji had a great opportunity to avert a disaster:

"When you've got an economy seriously in recession, because of political actions, wrongly taken, when you've got a reputation for a country, as well as a region, at stake, there's every incentive for Fiji to abandon its present path, and restore democracy to the people, and get sound government, and sound institutions, back working in that country."

New Zealand's Foreign Minister, Winston Peters.