15 May 2009

Tonga's Prime Minister calls for new approach to Fiji crisis

1:35 pm on 15 May 2009

The Prime Minister of Tonga, Dr Feleti Sevele, says he thinks it is time for a re-think on the Fiji issue.

Dr Sevele is in New Zealand for talks with the New Zealand Government and to deliver the annual Pacific Co-operation Foundation lecture.

Fiji's partial suspension from the Pacific Islands Forum will be one topic discussed with New Zealand's Prime Minister, John Key, on Tuesday, and the New Zealand Herald reports Dr Sevele saying a new approach to the issue is needed.

Earlier this month Fiji was suspended from the 16-nation Pacific Islands Forum over its refusal to hold elections this year.

Dr Sevele also says the main impact of the global recession is likely to be cuts to remittances, which Tonga expects to shrink by up to ten percent.

He also says Tonga can become more self reliant and grow more of its own food rather than import it.