16 Dec 2014

New Zealand seeks renewed Fiji defence links

3:42 pm on 16 December 2014

The New Zealand defence minister, Gerry Brownlee, says he will visit Fiji today in a bid to rebuild defence co-operation and engagement between New Zealand and Fiji.

Mr Brownlee is scheduled to meet Fiji's defence minister, Timoci Natuva, and the foreign minister, Ratu Inoke Kubuabola, to discuss rebuilding the defence relationship.

After Fiji's elections in September, New Zealand lifted its last sanctions on Fiji which until March included a travel ban on the Fiji military for its role in ousting the elected government in 2006.

Mr Brownlee's trip to Suva follows a list of recent visits by top military representatives from France, Britain, Australia and the US.

Fiji has also strengthened its military ties with China, India and the United Arab Emirates, and is expected to host Russia's defence minister early next year.

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