20 Dec 2010

Leaked cables report Australia's policy on Fiji not working

11:31 am on 20 December 2010

Leaked US diplomatic reports say Australia's hardline policies are driving Fiji's economy towards collapse while failing in their objective of bringing an end to the country's military rule.

The newspaper, The Age, reports that the documents reveal Australian policymakers and diplomats have been deeply frustrated with the lack of success of Australia's efforts to isolate the interim regime, but see no viable policy alternatives.

They also reveal that former parliamentary secretary of Pacific island affairs Duncan Kerr last year broke ranks with the then Rudd government and privately sought to encourage the US towards diplomatic re-engagement with Suva.

The Leaked US embassy cables released by WikiLeaks report that, at a meeting in August last year, Mr Kerr told a senior American diplomat that Australia was close to exhausting its diplomatic options on Fiji.