6 Aug 2009

NZ PM suspects Fiji has given up on Forum

3:04 pm on 6 August 2009

New Zealand's Prime Minister says he believes Fiji's self-appointed Prime Minister has given up on the Pacific Islands Forum.

Commodore Frank Bainimarama is to invite a Commonwealth delegation to Fiji for talks over the Pacific nation's position in the grouping, after it issued an ultimatum for progress towards elections by September.

John Key says New Zealand stands ready to help Fiji if it wants to restore democracy, but there's still no sign of that.

"Well I think he's given up on the Forum because we've shown him we'll be resolute in our position and there's no breaking of ranks from any Pacific Forum leader. It's up to Commonwealth members whether they choose to want to go and speak to him, but he's never proven in the past that he's willing to alter or shift his position at all or even take a reasonable view to these things."

John Key says the censorship of any stories in the Fiji media on the Forum leaders meeting shows that suspension from the Forum is hurting Fiji and reflects Commodore Bainimarama's isolationist position.