20 Feb 2013

Canberra supports MCG visit to Fiji soon

1:28 pm on 20 February 2013

Canberra supports a visit by the Ministerial Contact Group to Fiji as soon as possible.

The group last visited in May last year.

It is tasked by regional leaders to continue dialogue and engagement with Fiji, which is suspended from the Pacific Islands Forum.

A spokesman for Australia's Foreign Minister, Bob Carr, says it would support a visit sooner rather than later given recent significant events in Fiji.

Mr Carr has expressed concern at the regime's new decree governing political parties.

He earlier said he shared some of the regime's concerns about the draft constitution which was dumped in December.

The Fiji government is now writing a new draft for debate in a yet to be appointed Constituent Assembly.

Meanwhile, there have been calls from some groups in Fiji for more international scrutiny of political developments in the country.

The MCG is led by New Zealand's Foreign Minister Murray McCully and includes Australia, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Tuvalu and Vanuatu.

It last visited Suva in May last year, its third visit to Fiji.