14 Feb 2014

Forum delegation to meet Fiji leaders

5:10 pm on 14 February 2014

The Pacific Island Forum's Ministerial Contact Group is due to meet Fiji leaders today as part of a two-day visit ahead of the elections promised for September.

The team is led by the New Zealand foreign minister, Murray McCully, and includes Julie Bishop, who is making her first Fiji visit as Australia's foreign minister.

She is also expected to have a separate meeting with the regime leader, Commodore Frank Bainimarama.

Fiji has been suspended from the Forum since 2009 because the regime reneged on a 2007 promise to hold elections.

In the lead-up to today's visit, Fiji has been calling for an end to travel sanctions imposed in response to Commodore Bainimarama's 2006 coup.

Last month, New Zealand allowed a top coupmaker, Brigadier General Iowane Naivalurua, into the country, but Mr McCully says despite that concession, sanctions on the military remain.