15 Dec 2012

Australia restores a High Commissioner to Fiji ending three year hiatus

10:23 am on 15 December 2012

Australia's Foreign Minister has announced Margaret Twomey as its High Commissioner to Fiji, ending a three-year hiatus caused by the expulsion of Australia's previous High Commissioner in 2009.

Bob Carr says the decision to restore an Australian High Commissioner to Fiji was an agreed outcome of trilateral talks with Fiji and New Zealand in Sydney in July of this year.

Senator Carr says he welcomes recent moves towards democracy in Fiji, including work towards an electronic electoral roll ahead of the elections scheduled for 2014.

He adds there is a long way to go, but recent steps forward deserve the recognition agreed upon in our talks in July.

He says Australia will continue to encourage Fiji's return to democracy and the civilianisation of government positions.

Ms Twomey is a senior career officer with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, and is currently Australian Ambassador to the Russian Federation.

She is expected to take up her appointment in February 2013.