15 Apr 2009

Kiribati's President says new approach is needed on Fiji

10:39 am on 15 April 2009

The President of Kiribati says a new approach is needed to sort out Fiji's problems.

He and some other leaders of Pacific nations say Fiji will languish for years unless dialogue continues with the military regime there.

But they say talks should proceed without input from New Zealand and Australia, because the two countries' foreign policies have failed on many levels.

Anote Tong, the Kiribati President, says no progress will be made towards democracy while there are demands for Fiji to present a fixed timetable.

"We can not talk about any other date if we can not engage with Fiji. At the moment the interim administration feels that earliest date is 2014. We should talk to Fiji to see if there is any way in which we can move any obstacles they face in not being able to do it any earlier."

Anote Tong says Pacific leaders may have a better understanding of how to reach Commodore Frank Bainimarama.