30 Jul 2012

Fiji's Kububola heads to Sydney for talks

10:35 am on 30 July 2012

Fiji's foreign minister will today meet with his Australian and New Zealand counterparts in Sydney.

Ratu Inoke Kububola is expected to discuss Fiji's progress towards democratic elections with Murray McCully and Australia's Senator Bob Carr.

The trilateral meeting follows the visit to Fiji in early May of the Pacific Islands Forum's Ministerial Contact Group and Mr McCully's visit just over a week ago.

Fiji was suspended from the Forum three years ago after it failed to honour its 2007 promise to hold elections.

In a statement from his office, Ratu Inoke says he welcomes the opportunity for the meeting, to continue the constructive dialogue process with Fiji's nearest developed neighbours and apprise them of the progress being made towards constitutional reforms and democratic elections.

He says Fiji is not preoccupied with the questions of whether or not to be re-admitted to the Pacific Islands Forum or whether Fiji deserves the removal of sanctions.

Ratu Inoke says the government and people of Fiji will not be beholden to any carrot-and-stick approach, nor distracted by debates such as whether or not Fiji has met the criteria for re-admittance to the Forum.