28 Sep 2011

Kiribati calls to reintegrate Fiji in Pacific

12:13 pm on 28 September 2011

Kiribati's President Anote Tong has reiterated that the Pacific Islands Forum needs to work together to get Fiji back into the 16-member grouping of Pacific nations.

Following the Forum Leaders Meeting in Auckland, the chair, New Zealand's Prime Minister John Key, said there was a consensus that the approach on Fiji is the right one.

Fiji was suspended from the Forum two years ago because its military regime reneged on a 2007 promise to return power to an elected government.

Speaking at a news conference in Suva, President Tong said he disagreed on how Australia and New Zealand handle the situation in Fiji.

He says efforts must be made to engage with Fiji rather than isolate it.

He says for low-lying atolls like Kiribati and Tuvalu, Fiji is an important player in the region because of its link in terms of trade and transportation.