27 Jul 2010

Fiji's interim leader happy being outside of the Pacific Islands Forum

6:58 pm on 27 July 2010

The leader of the Fiji military regime, Commodore Frank Bainimarama, says his country is comfortable not being a part of the Pacific Islands Forum.

Pacific leaders are to meet in Vanuatu next week in their annual summit, but Fiji will not be present as it's suspended from the body over its refusal to return to democracy within the Forum's time frame.

Last week Fiji held its own gathering of Pacific leaders, bringing together representatives from ten countries in Nadi.

Mr Bainimarama told Auckland's Radio Tarana that whether Fiji is re-admitted to the Forum is up to the leaders, but he is happy with his country's current status.

"What is important is that we have bi-lateral with the rest of the Pacific Island nations now that we are out of the Forum, and we have started that last week in our meeting [Engaging the Pacific]. So Fiji's objective was to brief our friends and neighbours on the development with the implementation of our roadmap and that was appreciated by the ten Pacific countries that participated."