11 Dec 2006

Pacific leaders engaging in phone diplomacy to try and restore Fiji's democracy

7:39 pm on 11 December 2006

The New Zealand prime minister, Helen Clark, says efforts are being made around the region to see how democracy can be restored quickly in Fiji.

She says the Commonwealth, which suspended Fiji's membership at the weekend following the military takeover last week, can be expected to try and make contact with Commodore Bainimarama.

Miss Clark says the Commonwealth is always very solutions-focussed.

"And it has played a constructive role in helping sort things out in Fiji in the past. I have been talking with some other South Pacific leaders in the course of the past few days and people have contacts into Fiji, so I am sure there is quite a lot of phone diplomacy going on, but the key thing is to see if there is a way of resolving this and getting democracy restored quickly or whether we are in for a long and rather unpleasant haul in Fiji."

Helen Clark