Fiji says Australia, New Zealand interference prompted talks pullout

By Xinhua,

Wellington : Fiji’s interim government said Monday that it has suspended talks with the Pacific Island Forum Joint Working Group on Fiji because of what it sees as a lack of support by Australia and New Zealand, Radio New Zealand International reported.

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Australia and New Zealand interference continued to hamper efforts to move Fiji forward, it said.

Fiji Ministry of Information’s acting deputy secretary, Major Neumi Leweni, said Fiji’s interim Prime Minister Commodore Frank Bainimarama felt that the talks should be suspended because little progress is made.

He added that travel bans imposed by Australia and New Zealand were preventing the involvement of many qualified, skilled and willing non-military individuals who want to contribute to rebuilding Fiji.

The Pacific Islands Forum Joint Working Group on Fiji was created by Forum Foreign Ministers last year to monitor the situation in Fiji.

The group had urged the Fiji interim regime to remain a member and stay engaged with its regional neighbors. Its chairman, Papua New Guinea High Commissioner to Fij Peter Eafeare, said the forum encouraged Fiji to continue to be a member.