10 Mar 2012

Australia's new Foreign Minister seeks more information on Fiji situation

11:58 am on 10 March 2012

Australia's new Foreign Minister, Bob Carr, says it is premature to say Australia and New Zealand will soften their stance on the regime in Fiji.

Fiji's military ruler, Commodore Frank Bainimarama, has announced a consultation process will take place on Fiji's constitution between July and September.

Mr Carr held informal talks with New Zealand's Foreign Affairs Minister, Murray McCully in Auckland.

Mr Carr says he is seeking more information about the situation in Fiji.

"All I can say at this stage is that I am talking to colleagues about Fiji but at this stage, the statement from the Fiji government is something we will look at, it's interesting, but we wouldn't go beyond that at this time."

New Zealand's foreign minister, Murray McCully, welcomes the announcement by the Fiji interim government.

But he says the real test will be once political dialogue begins and whether it will be inclusive.

Whether everyone is is going to participate regardless of their political views and I think the international community will be watching that process very carefully. So I think New Zealand and Australia will just carefully take stock, that's the way we have dealt with this, we have made it clear that we want to see steps towards clear and fair elections, this is the step in that direction, but we will evaluate it as it goes forward

New Zealand's foreign minister, Murray McCully.