Monday, October 15, 2007

US wants quick return to democracy

Sunday October 14, 2007

The United States has urged the international community to help Fiji regain its path towards democracy.

Assistant secretary of State Christopher Hill, while marking ‘2007-the Year of the Pacific’, said one of the most pressing problems began when Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama overthrew Laisenia Qarase’s government in December last year.

“We as a community must help Fiji regain its path towards democracy and development. The Forum and its members have already taken a strong and unified stance on the coup, and the US has sought to harmonise our response on Fiji with the region’s.

“On September 28, my Principal deputy met with Bainimarama, who was in New York for the UN General Assembly, to voice directly our widely shared concerns.”

Hill said the US wants an “immediate end to abuses of human rights and civil liberties; a clear and defined road map to elections, the return of constitutional government and the military’s permanent return to the barracks”.

He said while these challenges are serious, he believed they are also temporary.

“Our commitment to the “Year of the Pacific” signaled our commitment to work together with you, our neighbours, to build a common future.”

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