30 Apr 2012

Australia's Foreign Minister urged to re-establish relations with Fiji regime

7:12 am on 30 April 2012

Australia's federal opposition is urging the Foreign Minister Bob Carr to use a trip to Fiji to re-establish relations with Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama.

Senator Carr will attend the meeting with ministers from New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, and other countries as part of the the Pacific Islands Forum Ministerial Contact Group.

Fiji was suspended from the Forum three years ago after the interim regime reneged on a 2007 promise to hold elections.

The contact group meeting comes as the country carries out consultations on a new constitution ahead of promised 2014 elections.

The Coalition foreign affairs spokeswoman, Julie Bishop, says Senator Carr should use the visit to change the course of Australian policy towards Commodore Bainimarama's regime.

She says the Government's approach has led to Fiji's further isolation from Australia.