Government of the Republic of Fiji
Ministry of Foreign Affairs
A Better Fiji through Excellence in Foreign Service
London, 10 September 2011: Minister for Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Ratu Inoke Kubuabola, responding to comments reportedly made by Prime Minister John Key, said that at no point during either the Engaging with the Pacific Conference 2011 or the MSG Leaders Summit did Fiji ask other regional countries to push for Fiji’s re-inclusion in the Pacific Islands Forum.
Fiji only sought to create greater understanding and to update regional partners on the work being undertaken in Fiji to ensure that democratic institutions take root for the long term through the Strategic Framework for Change. Fiji has made it clear that it will do what is necessary to ensure a true democracy can be put in place in a timeframe that makes sense for Fiji. Existing and new partner countries that have examined Fiji’s roadmap in an unbiased manner have seen merit in the work, and have supported Fiji. Accordingly, Fiji can wait till after elections in 2014 for a re-evaluation of its membership of the Forum.
Minister Kubuabola further stated that the decision of the Forum to permit Fiji back at the Officials level into PACER+ talks, which Fiji has withdrawn from, is a further sign of the hypocrisy of the Forum. It is in the interests of Australia and New Zealand to have Fiji included in these negotiations, and it is apparent that their self-interest has led to this bending of their own stated principles. The Forum must decide whether to include or to exclude Fiji in all its dealings, not just where it suits them.
Ministry of Foreign Affairs P. O. Box 2220 Government Buildings Suva, Fiji