15 Mar 2007

Vanuatu foreign ministers' talks vital for Fiji and Pacific - Winston Peters

8:07 pm on 15 March 2007

The New Zealand foreign minister Winston Peters says it is hoped that talks tomorrow in Vanuatu involving forum foreign ministers will speed the restoration of democracy in Fiji.

The meeting will consider a report compiled by an eminent persons' group which calls for the military to return to barracks and for democratic elections to be held within two years.

Mr Peters says it is a particularly important meeting for the future of Fiji and the region.

He says rarely has the forum had to deal with such a complex and disturbing situation as has arisen in Fiji as a consequence of the coup.

Mr Peters says the EPG report charts the way forward, and after it has been presented, Fiji will be offered the chance to address the meeting.

He says its vital that constitutional democracy, human rights, and the country's participation in international and regional affairs, is restored as soon as possible.