24 Jan 2007

European Union seeks dialogue with Fiji interim administration

11:10 am on 24 January 2007

The European Union will soon begin dialogue with Fiji's interim administration on the political situation in the country following the ousting of the Qarase government.

The head of the EU delegation in Suva, Dr Roberto Ridolfi, says they will engage with the Fiji government irrespective of who holds power,

Dr Ridolfi says they have no choice but to engage with the interim administration and have dialogue on how the European Union can help move Fiji forward.

He says the last thing Fiji needs is sanctions from the EU which would be a burden on the people and which he hopes can be avoided.

Earlier this week a statement released by the EU headquarters in Brussels said they would have consultations with the interim administration on reports of alleged human rights abuse by the military and breaches of democratic principles.

The EU commissioner responsible for development and humanitarian aid, Louis Michel, says they hope the situation can be remedied through consultations and the suspension of EU aid can be avoided.