27 Jan 2009

Forum leaders to begin meeting on Fiji this afternoon

2:29 pm on 27 January 2009

A special Pacific Islands Forum meeting will be held in Papua New Guinea this afternoon to review Fiji's position within the organisation.

This comes amid the unprecedented threat to suspend Fiji for refusing to hold elections as promised to the leaders in 2007.

Walter Zweifel reports from Port Moresby:

"The New Zealand prime minister, John Key, says as an organisation, the Forum needs to show leadership. For some members, like Australia, this means taking a hard line against the Fiji interim regime whose rule has entered its third year. Claiming to be a legitimate government, it wants to reform the electoral system before holding polls and relinquishing power. Today, the leaders will be tested on whether they accept Fiji's long-term plans or whether they agree with Forum foreign ministers who have said that all that is lacking for a return to democracy is the political will. In Port Moresby, I'm Walter Zweifel."