17 Feb 2014

Australian Foreign Minister details plan to normalise relations

12:01 pm on 17 February 2014

The Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop has described her weekend meeting with the leader of the Fiji regime as warm and very positive.

Ms Bishop was among ministers in Fiji as part of the Ministerial Contact Group of the Pacific Islands Forum.

She held a separate meeting with Commodore Frank Bainimarama, the first top level meeting between the two countries since 2008.

Ms Bishop says it was important for Australia to lay out the steps it wants to take to normalise relations with Fiji, which have been strained since the 2006 coup.

She says the steps will include focusing on trade, investment and tourism, military and defence ties and including Fiji in Austalia's seasonal workers programme.

She says the exchange of Ambassadors was not discussed.

Ms Bishop says Australia's travel sanctions on the regime are under constant review and so far Australia has had 56 applications for visas which have all been accepted bar one for technical reasons.