Monday, May 19, 2008

Bainimarama meets Qarase

Breakthrough: Bainimarama meets Qarase
19 MAY 2008

Fiji’s ousted Prime Minister Laisenia Qarase today faced the man who removed him in a meeting brokered by the leaders of Fiji’s two largest Christian churches.

The meeting between Qarase and interim PM Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama took place at the Parliament complex at around 4pm.

Qarase said the meeting, which lasted 45 minutes, was facilitated by the head of the Catholic Church Archbishop Petero Mataca and the President of the Methodist Church Reverand Laisiasa Ratabacaca.

“They have been working behind the scene for some weeks trying to get a meeting between Bainimarama and myself,” he told Fijilive.

Qarase described the meeting as “informal” and “casual”.

“We discussed one or two issues. It was a good meeting,” he said.

“We have agreed to meet again in future to continue dialogue.

“It’s a positive development. I hope it continues.”

In the past weeks, the interim Government has admitted that it needs the support of Fiji’s political leaders to implement reforms and take the country forward following the 2006 coup.

Bainimarama and the main political leaders are expected to meet at the end of this month.

Fiji’s development partners, including the UN and Commonwealth are also expected to have representatives at the political forum.

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