22 Jul 2010

Engaging Fiji meeting not likely to do much for Bainimarama - New Zealand PM

8:11 pm on 22 July 2010

The New Zealand Prime Minister says a regional summit organised by Fiji is not likely to benefit that country's interim regime.

Leaders from Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, Kiribati and Tuvalu are reported to be attending the so-called "Engaging Fiji" meeting, along with representatives from Tonga, Micronesia, Marshall Islands, Nauru, and East Timor.

John Key says it's important to note that those attending the meeting are not necessarily the leaders of those countries and the Pacific Way is to maintain regional dialogue.

He says the Pacific leaders with whom he's spoken endorse the position taken by the Pacific Islands Forum to exclude Fiji until it's back on the pathway to democracy.

"In the end unless we're going to see a group of those leaders come to Vanuatu in a few weeks' time and argue the case that the Pacific Forum should reverse it's decision in terms of the exclusion of Fiji from the Forum then he really hasn't gained much and I can't see that happening."

New Zealand's Prime Minister, John Key.

Meanwhile the interim Fiji Government's Ministry of Information says the regime has received strong backing from the ten countries attending the Nadi meeting.

The agency says they've expressed strong backing for the Strategic Framework for Change and the Roadmap to Democracy, following a presentation on how the Government saw the way forward to elections come 2014.

It says the delegates also endorsed other regime initiatives such as its anti-corruption laws, rural development programmes, poverty alleviation and good governance policies as well as an education-for-all initiative.