11 Jul 2008

NZ Foreign Minister to join meeting in Fiji next week

9:53 am on 11 July 2008

The New Zealand Foreign Minister, Winston Peters, says Pacific Foreign Ministers meeting next week in Fiji will taking a positive attitude to try and help the country to hold elections by March next year.

The Ministerial Contact Group, which includes the foreign ministers of Australia, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Tonga and Tuvalu, is to meet on Tuesday and Wednesday.

He says the interim government recently indicated it would like greater engagement with Forum members, and this visit could help Fiji move forward towards elections.

Mr Peters says there is a lot at stake.

"We have got to do our very best as Forum members, and representing the Forum, in readiness for the leaders meeting in Niue in August of this year, do our very best as a group to assist an election being held - fair, open and honest, by the end of March 2009 in Fiji. So we have got to be positive about that and set out and see if we can in any way assist that to happen. There is a lot at stake here."