16 Jul 2008

Ministers meet deposed PM

10:44 am on 16 July 2008

The former Prime Minister of Fiji Laisenia Qarese, who was deposed in a coup in 2006, is meeting a group of Pacific Island politicians in Suva on Wednesday.

Foreign ministers from Australia, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Tonga and Tuvalu are in Fiji to press the interim government to honour promises to hold elections by March, 2009.

The group met interim leader Frank Bainimarama on Tuesday.

New Zealand Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters has said little about the meeting with Commodore Bainimarama, except that it was worthwhile.

En route to the forum, Mr Qarese would say only that he was looking forward to the meeting.

The military took power in Fiji in December 2006. It was the fourth coup there since 1987.

Commodore Bainimarama told his soldiers last month that elections promised for early next year were unlikely to take place because corruption problems remained.