30 Jul 2012

New Zealand, Australia and Fiji to restore full diplomatic links

7:15 pm on 30 July 2012

Fiji, New Zealand and Australia are to re-install high commissioners in each country's capitals to ensure the channels of communication are open and effective.

Diplomats of high commissioner rank have not been at the New Zealand and Australian missions in Suva for some years about the envoys were ordered out of the country by the interim Fiji governrment.

In tit for tat expulsions the Fiji high commissioners were also removed from Canberra and Wellington.

Restoring full diplomatic links is one of the outcomes of trilateral talks today in Sydney involving the interim Fiji foreign minister, Ratu Inoke Kubuabola and his New Zealand and Australian counterparts, Bob Carr and Murray McCully.

The ministers say the meeting built on the positive momentum generated by the Pacific Islands Forum Ministerial Contact Group's visit to Fiji in late April/early May this year.

Mr Carr and Mr McCully raised concerns about continuing curbs on media freedom and human rights while Ratu Inoke re-stated his government's commitment to free, fair and inclusive elections.

The ministers have agreed to look at a more flexible implementation of the travel sanctions, on a case by case basis.