13 Dec 2006

New Zealand calls for unity to deal with Fiji military regime

6:03 pm on 13 December 2006

New Zealand's foreign minister, Winston Peters, says he believes the international community needs to be united against the military regime in Fiji.

In a speech at the Centre for Strategic Studies conference in Wellington, he said it would be a failure of international institutions if the coup lasts for a long time.

Linda Skates reports.

"Mr Peters says New Zealand has imposed sanctions which target Commodore Bainimarama, the military and its close associates. But, he says there also needs to be principled responses from the international community. The Foreign Minister referred to Fijian peacekeepers, saying it's difficult to see how they can maintain their positions around the world given what the military has done at home. The U.N. earlier warned that peacekeeping contracts were at risk but it is yet to act on the threat. The E.U. has condemned the coup but is not commenting on whether it will impose sanctions. Mr Peters says delay, vacillation or double talk will not aid in the restoration of democracy in Fiji."