6 Feb 2014

Fiji election candidate suggests Fiji joins ANZUS

5:48 am on 6 February 2014

A Fiji election candidate, Nirmal Singh, says he wants to see Fiji join the ANZUS defence treaty.

The former US Embassy public affairs specialist says Fiji has an important role to play in regional security and its defence forces are highly skilled through international peacekeeping duties.

Mr Singh describes the military as a fact of life in Fiji but he says it needs to realign its focus from domestic to regional and international engagement.

"The South Pacific segment of the Pacific theatre is quite important in terms of security, in terms of transnational crime, in terms of maintaining security in the region. I think it is time the United States, Australia and New Zealand should start engaging Fijian military forces more in to the regional and then subsequently into international engagements."

Mr Singh says dealing with the military issue would be one of his priorities if he gets elected.

He resigned from the People's Democratic Party this week and plans to announce next week whether he will stand as an independent or as a candidate for another party.