5 Sep 2011

NZ expects no change in Forum position on Fiji

9:07 am on 5 September 2011

Prime Minister John Key says he would be astounded if this week's Pacific Islands Forum changed its stance on Fiji, which was suspended two years ago.

Mr Key says he doesn't read much into last Friday's statement from Suva that nine Pacific countries want Fiji readmitted to the Forum.

He says those countries, which attended Fiji's Engaging with the Pacific meeting in Nadi last week, were not in all cases represented by their leaders.

"Our view is that, like New Zealand and Australia, the countries in the Pacific strongly believe that democracy should be restored in Fiji."

Mr Key says while he is happy to discuss the Fiji issue in bilateral talks, Fiji is not likely to be a significant issue for the Forum meeting in Auckland this week.

Green Party foreign affairs spokesperson Keith Locke says it is important that New Zealand and Australia take the lead the meeting of Forum leaders in committing member countries to stronger sanctions against the regime.

Mr Locke says there's no point believing that Fiji's interim government has any intention of holding elections.