8 Aug 2009

Fiji threatens to quit key regional trade talks

10:28 am on 8 August 2009

Fiji's military government has threatened to quit key regional trade talks after being shut out of negotiations at this week's Pacific Islands Forum summit in Australia.

The threat was delivered by the Fiji information ministry in a strongly worded statement rejecting decisions taken by the Forum on Fiji's future role.

The forum, which suspended Fiji in March for reneging on a promise to restore democracy, announced that negotiations on closer economic relations, known as PACER-Plus, will go ahead without Fiji but that it will be briefed later.

However, Fiji maintains its role in PACER-Plus and the Pacific Island Countries Trade Agreement (PICTA) are separate to its place at the forum table.

The Fiji interim government's statement said Pacific forum leaders have shown "a brazen disregard for international law.

However, the statement said Fiji remained committed to regional economic integration.