25 Apr 2009

Fiji's interim Defence Minister to attend UN conference on security in Tonga

7:41 am on 25 April 2009

Fiji's interim Defence Minister, Ratu Epeli Ganilau, says he will go to a United Nations conference on security governance in Tonga next week with an open mind.

The conference will look at security challenges in Fiji, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Tonga and Vanuatu.

Ratu Epeli says he doesn't want to dwell on the past, but is ready to answer any questions at the conference regarding the military's role in past coups and the takeover of December 2006.

He says Fiji has been facing a variety of problems.

"These elements of instability has been one of ethnicity, the land issue, the economic disparity amongst the races and also the lack of confidence in past governments ability to bring resolve the differences within our society."

Ratu Epeli's trip to Tonga will be the first international meeting for a Fiji government official since the abrogation of the constitution.