12 Jan 2010

New Zealand makes effort to improve Fiji ties

1:52 pm on 12 January 2010

The New Zealand government is making efforts to improve its diplomatic relations with Fiji.

Last week, the foreign minister Murray McCully held talks with this Fiji counterpart Ratu Inoke Kubuabola in Nadi.

As a result of those discussions, both countries have agreed to appoint diplomats to their embassies in Wellington and Suva.

Mr McCully says the extra capacity will help with efforts to move forward:

"None of this signals a change ot New Zealand's substantive policy with regards to the regime in Fiji, nor does it signal any change in the sanctions regime in place. But it does signal a determination to improve the relationship and in particular to be able to agree to disagree about some things. It does leave us in a position where we will be better resourced now to be able to conduct a dialogue and try and improve the relationship."

New Zealand's foreign minister Murray McCully.

Last year, Fiji expelled New Zealand's top diplomat, with Wellington retaliating.