1 Mar 2004

Progress in talanoa talks in Fiji between the Prime Minister and the Labour leader

7:06 am on 1 March 2004

Solutions to Fiji's land lease problems, the restructure of the sugar industry and amendments to the 1997 Constitution are expected to be in place by the end of this year.

The progression on these issues followed two days of Talanoa talks between Fiji's Prime Minister, Laisenia Qarase, the Labour Party leader, Mahendra Chaudhry and senior representatives of their parties.

Mr Qarase has described the talks as the best of the six talanoa sessions so far with a positive outcome for Fiji.

The two leaders have agreed to appoint parliamentary select committees to address the three issues.

Dr Sitiveni Halapua of the Hawaii based East-West Centre, who mediated the talks, said a consensus was reached on the land issue.

Mr Chaudhry says he is optimistic the land impasse will be resolved by the end of the year.