12 Sep 2011

Fiji says getting back Pacific Forum membership not high on its agenda

7:46 pm on 12 September 2011

Fiji's interim foreign minister, Ratu Inoke Kubuabola, says rejoining the Pacific Island Forum is the least of the regime's priorities.

Last week Pacific Forum Leaders maintained their suspension of Fiji from the regional body, saying it would only be lifted if the country embraced democracy.

Ratu Inoke says allowing Fiji contact at the officials level only in negotiations on the PACER Plus economic market arrangements is hypocritical.

He says the Forum must decide whether to include or to exclude Fiji in all dealings, not just where it suits them.

Ratu Inoke says Fiji has existing and new partner countries that back its roadmap in an unbiased manner and which support the regime's goals.

He says this means Fiji can wait till after elections in 2014 for a re-evaluation of its membership of the Forum.