15 Sep 2016

Fiji PM hits back at NZ over arrests

7:10 pm on 15 September 2016

Fiji's Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama has hit back at comments by his New Zealand counterpart John Key in relation to the arrests of opposition politicians at the weekend.

The Fiji Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama meets local & international business people in Fiji at the Fiji/Australia Business council Forum while Australian dignitaries look on.

The Fiji Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama meets local & international business people in Fiji at the Fiji/Australia Business council Forum while Australian dignitaries look on. Photo: RNZI/Alex Perrottet

At a business council meeting in Fiji, Fiji's Trade Minister also scotched talk of Fiji pulling out of the regional trade deal Pacer Plus.

Frank Bainimarama was opening the Fiji Australia Business Council Forum with the New Zealand business council in attendance.

But he started by condemning Mr Key for warning him not to be "silly".

He said it was demeaning and something you would tell a child and described the relationship as testy.

In response Australia's senator Concetta Fierravanti-Wells said freedom of assembly and speech were human rights and Australia was watching closely.

The three countries also agreed to work on Fiji's issues with the PACER-Plus trade agreement and Trade Minister Faiyaz Koya said media reports that Fiji had pulled out were absurd.

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