12 Jun 2003

A solution to Fiji's land lease problems is expected to be announced this week

12:54 pm on 12 June 2003

A report from Fiji says there has been a breakthrough in the country's most pressing problem of leases on indigenous owned land.

Fiji TV says the prime minister, Laisenia Qarase, and Labour Party leader, Mahendra Chaudhry, are expected to announce a solution some time this week.

The agreement is reported to have been reached in a series of meetings between a three-member government team comprising the lands minister, Ratu Naiqama Lalabalavu and two other ministers and a Labour party team headed by its president, Senator Jokapeci Koroi.

A member of the Labour team, Krishna Dutt, says the negotiations were part of the "talanoa" talks between the two sides.

Mr Dutt says the two sides have arrived at a joint resolution which will go the leaders for discussion and it will be up to them to announce it.

No details have been revealed of the agreement which could have a major impact on the country's ailing sugar industry and agricultural production.

Mr Dutt says after resolving the land lease issue, the two-party subcommittee can now address constitutional issues.