5 Oct 2009

EU invites Fiji regime to Europe for talks

8:42 pm on 5 October 2009

The European Commission has invited Fiji's interim government to come to Europe for consultations on finding a compromise solution to the situation in Fiji.

Late last month, the European Union extended its freeze on millions of dollars of development aid to Fiji, because of its delay in holding elections.

The European Commission's Pacific development director, Roger Moore, has arrived in New Zealand for talks on regional cooperation, after visiting Fiji.

Mr Moore says they are waiting for a response from Fiji to the invitation, but there was a keen interest in the suggestion.

"I think that Fiji realises there are large sums of money involved, I think altogether there's half a billion New Zealand dollars involved, and that's important grant money for Fiji's development, and I think it's worth making that extra effort in order to find a way forward. I believe they can do it."

Mr Moore says it is possible to find a compromise soon, as all the political forces in Fiji agree on electoral reforms although there is disagreement about how the interim government is going about it.

He says the European Commission would look to New Zealand and the Commonwealth for inspiration on the way forward for Fiji.