8 Apr 2009

US Secretary of State urges Fiji to restore democracy

8:57 am on 8 April 2009

The United States Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, is urging Fiji to restore democracy to the country.

Mrs Clinton also says she backed a demand by South Pacific leaders for elections in the country this year.

Following talks with New Zealand's Foreign Minister Murray McCully, Mrs Clinton says democracy must not be "extinguished" in Fiji, where the country's 2006 coup leader and self-appointed interim prime minister, Commodore Frank Bainimarama, has said he will not hold elections this year as promised.

Mrs Clinton says the US joins New Zealand in encouraging Fiji's interim government to abide by the Pacific Island Forum's benchmarks and timetable to restore democracy to that country.

Fiji has suffered four coups and an army mutiny since 1987.