STATEMENT

[No 5/10/2014]

Ro Teimumu has called on the Government to exercise good sense and sound judgment towards the Pacific Islands Forum. “The Opposition would be happy to work with the Fiji government in the re-building process for the benefit of the region and all its peoples

Opposition Leader Ro Teimumu Kepa has welcomed the decision by the Pacific Islands Forum to lift suspension of the Fiji government’s membership of the Forum. She urged the government of Fiji to apply its fundamental policy of inclusiveness in its approach to the Forum as the leading regional political

Ro Teimumu said that preconditions set by the Fiji government for rejoining the Forum were unacceptable These are based on a demand for banishment from the Forum of Fiji’s major friends and partners Australia and New Zealand. This demand is because Australia and New Zealand, as Forum members, strongly

objected to the military takeover by Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama of Fiji’s elected government in 2006. The takeover broke the rules of the Forum. All the other Forum member countries also objected to Prime Minister Bainimarama’s actions. These were widely condemned by the international community.

Ro Teimumu said the current government cannot erase the illegal actions of 2006. These will forever remain part of Prime Minister Bainimarama’s legacy and he has to come to terms with that.

“We have concluded our elections, flawed though we believe it was, and we have a Parliament with an elected government. A clear democratic priority must be the reconstruction of our relations with our traditional friends and partners in the Pacific, including Australia and New Zealand,” Ro Teimumu said.

“Quite aside from substantial aid and humanitarian support, both are the largest sources of tourism for Fiji, and major providers of foreign investment. Close proximity, people-to-people relationships and historical connections are also important. Australia and New Zealand are genuine friends of our country.

“For the Fiji government to link its re-entry into the Forum to unreasonable terms designed to punish Australia and New Zealand, is nothing but mean spirited and wrong. It will also create unnecessary divisions and tensions in the immediate region.”

Ro Teimumu has called on the Government to exercise good sense and sound judgment towards the Pacific Islands Forum. “The Opposition would be happy to work with the Fiji government in the re-building process for the benefit of the region and all its peoples,” she said.

Authorized By: Leader of the Opposition

Opposition Chambers Parliament House

Tel: (679) 322 5657

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