13 Jan 2010

Australia supports NZ's move to improve diplomatic relations with Fiji

11:32 am on 13 January 2010

The Australian government says it supports New Zealand's attempts to improve diplomatic relations with Fiji.

Consular representatives are being appointed in Suva and Wellington, although the Foreign Affairs Minister, Murray McCully, says that doesn't signal a substantive change in policy.

Mr McCully says the aim is to allow better communication to take place between the two countries.

His Australian counterpart, Stephen Smith, says it's a sensible move, but doesn't take pressure off the administration in Fiji for a return to democracy.

Mr Smith says disagreement with the regime in Suva isn't a reason not to have diplomatic relations.