9 Nov 2010

Fiji regime disappointed at Gillard's skepticism towards 2014 elections

1:38 pm on 9 November 2010

Fiji's interim foreign minister Ratu Inoke Kubuabola says he's disappointed Australia's prime minister's expressed skepticism about elections in 2014 but he's still hoping for dialogue and engagement with Canberra.

He was reacting to comments by Julia Gillard who also said it's important to maximise pressure to give the people of Fiji the appropriate opportunity to exercise a vote and pick their government.

In a statement, Ratu Inoke says 2014 elections will be held because of the Fiji government's firm commitment under the nation's strategic framework for change and not because of any pressure from Canberra.

The Minister says there's much work to be done before 2014 by Fiji and what he described as its international friends, and Fiji would not be deterred by skeptics.

He says he fails to understand why Canberra is still deliberately trying to sow seeds of doubt with its message of skepticism.

Ratu Inoke says Fiji's door is open if the Australian government is genuine about wanting dialogue and engagement and he hoped Canberra would soon drop what he called its prescriptive and negative policy on Fiji.