20 Dec 2010

Academic says Wikileaks sheds little light on Fiji/Australia relationship

8:26 pm on 20 December 2010

A Fiji observer and academic says leaked cables highlighting the Australia-Fiji relationship shed little light on the real issues involved.

Among the US Embassy reports released by Wikileaks are revelations a former Parliamentary Secretary of Pacific Affairs, Duncan Kerr, broke ranks with the government and an observation he appeared sympathetic in re-engaging with Fiji's interim leader Commodore Frank Bainimarama.

But Dr Brij Lal of the Australian National University says division within the Australian Labour Party about how to deal with Fiji is well known.

"It seems to me that what Kerr was proposing was really an open-ended approach towards Fiji but the question was on what conditions will Fiji participate, was there a quid pro quo, would Fiji come to the party and be prepared to negotiate and compromise."

A political scientist at the Australian National University, Dr Brij Lal.