28 Aug 2012

Nauru Minister says Fiji suspension creating a rift in Forum

8:32 pm on 28 August 2012

Nauru's Foreign Minister says it is time for Fiji's suspension from the Pacific Islands Forum to be lifted.

Fiji has been suspended from the Forum since 2009, over the interim regime's refusal to hold elections.

Nauru's Dr Kieren Keke says Fiji was suspended over concerns there was not a genuine commitment to elections, but he believes that is no longer true.

He says another reason was to try to encourage Fiji towards full democracy, but that didn't work.

"The ongoing suspension is, I think, creating a divide within the Forum, of those that are pro the return of Fiji, and those that are not. And so I don't think it is helping the Forum, and so Nauru's view is that it is timely to, at minimum, review that, but preferably, lift the suspension of Fiji."

Kieren Keke says there is a lot of discussion on the sidelines of the Forum meeting, and a lot of the countries support Fiji's re-inclusion.