11 Feb 2011

Pacific Forum ministers to assess Fiji's progress towards democracy

6:40 pm on 11 February 2011

Government ministers from six Pacific nations are to meet in Port Vila early next week to assess what progress has been made towards democracy in Fiji.

The meeting of the Pacific Islands Forum's Ministerial Contact Group will be chaired by the Vanuatu prime minister, Sato Kilman, and includes representatives from Australia, Papua New Guinea, New Zealand, Tuvalu and Samoa.

Don Wiseman has more:

"The New Zealand minister of foreign affairs, Murray McCully, says the interim Fiji foreign minister, Ratu Inoke Kubuabola has been invited to part of the meeting. The Ministerial Contact Group was established three years ago with the task of monitoring the situation in Fiji and reporting back developments to the region's leaders. Last time the group met, in Auckland in May last year, plans for a visit to Fiji to assess the situation first hand were scuttled by Fiji's interim leader, Commodore Frank Bainimarama. He had taken exception to comments by the then Australian foreign minister, Stephen Smith, that the Fiji situation had worsened and little progress towards elections in 2014 had been made."