6 Mar 2014

Fiji general says first move up to NZ

4:24 pm on 6 March 2014

Fiji's new military commander says New Zealand and Australia should make the first move to improve relations between their military forces and Fiji's.

Brigadier-General Mosese Tikoitoga was promoted to head the Fiji military after former Commodore Frank Bainimarama stepped down from the post to contest elections he says will be held this year.

Mosese Tikoitoga salutes outgoing Frank Bainimarama

Mosese Tikoitoga salutes outgoing Frank Bainimarama Photo: AFP

Mr Bainimarama, who led the 2006 military coup, remains the prime minister.

General Tikoitoga says the Fiji military has always valued its relationship with the Australian and New Zealand defence forces.

"It was them that stopped the relationship so I think the onus is on them to restore the relationship. We have a more important responsibility in ensuring the sustainability and the maintenance of our forces. If the New Zealand and the Australian government wishes to re-establish the relationship, then it is their call to make with our government."

General Tikoitoga says the personnel under his command will observe the country's constitution - drawn up in 2013 - and it does not want any more coups.