4 Feb 2010

Call for re-opened talks with the Fiji regime to include ousted political parties

8:22 pm on 4 February 2010

A Sydney-based Fiji democracy group says the parties elected to power by the people should be included in future talks with Australia and New Zealand.

The foreign ministers of Australia and New Zealand met with their Fiji counterpart, Ratu Inoke Kubuabola yesterday to discuss ways to improve relations.

Usaia Waqatairewa from the Fiji Democracy and Freedom Movement says he supports engagement with the military-led regime if it moves the country towards elections.

But he is urging Australia and New Zealand to include the political parties that were ousted from power in the 2006 coup.

"Its good enough that they are sitting round the table talking because that is a first step towards something positive but at the same time the Australian and New Zealand governments should not compromise on asking these people, if they want to talk about constitutional changes, they have to include people who represent the voters of Fiji. Its not going to be a sort of top-down decision that's shoved down our throats so to speak."

Usaia Waqatairewa says there should also be no compromise on the issue of human rights abuses, or on easing the travel ban on regime members and their families.