2 Sep 2009

Commonwealth will continue to work with Fiji despite suspension

11:32 am on 2 September 2009

The Commonwealth will continue to work with Fiji on restoring democracy despite the country's full suspension from the grouping.

The Commonwealth has banned Fiji , meaning it will miss out on intergovernmental meetings, technical assistance and the Commonwealth Games.

The interim Prime Minister, Commodore Frank Bainimarama had written to the Secretary General on 21 August reaffirming his commitment to the principles of the Commonwealth, but did not meet the deadline of October 2010 for elections.

The Deputy Secretary-General, Mmasekgoa Masire-Mwamba, says that communication does ensure that there is ongoing engagement with the regime.

"We do have a delegation that will be led by the secretary general's special representative, Sir Paul Reeves in mid September to Fiji together with officials from the Secretariat, therefore it did give us the opportunity to continue to engage but there was no commitment towards an election date that was in our time frame."

The Commonwealth Deputy Secretary-General Mmasekgoa Masire-Mwamba .

Fiji is the second country, after Nigeria, to be fully suspended from the Commonwealth, and was previously suspended in 1987.