7 Oct 2005

Fiji PM leaves tomorrow for talks with Indian PM and senior officials

11:17 am on 7 October 2005

Fiji's prime minister, Laisenia Qarase, leaves tomorrow with a 50-member delegation for his first official visit to India.

The large delegation comprises cabinet ministers, government officials and representatives of the business community.

Mr Qarase will open the new Fiji high commission in New Delhi and have official talks with the prime minister, Manmohan Singh, and other top ministers and officials.

Mr Qarase has told the Daily Post newspaper that like Australia and New Zealand, he expects India to have some reservations about the amnesty clause of the Reconciliation and Unity Bill.

But he says India is known for democracy and he expects no interference in Fiji's domestic political affairs.

Mr Qarase says he will tell the Indian prime minister that the amnesty clause will be amended at the end of the public consultation process to ensure the independence of the police, the judiciary and the director of public prosecutions.

He says Fiji has a lot to learn and gain from India and he expects both countries to work together.