Friday, June 20, 2008

NZ will not accept military regime: Peters

NZ will not accept military regime: Peters - 20 JUN 2008

New Zealand cannot accept a military dominated administration which lacks a popular mandate imposing its will on the people of Fiji, says Foreign Affairs minister Winston Peters.“Nor do we believe that such an imposed solution will endure,” Peters said in an opinion piece on added there is a real risk that it will exacerbate Fiji’s divisions. “That is why New Zealand continues to call on Fiji’s interim government to honour its commitments to advance electoral preparations. “That is also why we call on the interim government, and all other key political leaders within Fiji, to participate in discussions aimed at identifying some of the key issues that a properly constituted government will need to consider,” he said.“In this way, we hope to nurture a climate that will enable free and fair elections.” Peters was responding to criticisms by interim Prime Minister Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama that the Forum-Fiji Joint Working Group including Australia and New Zealand were hypocritical and insincere in moving Fiji forward.Bainimarama made the comment after New Zealand slapped a travel ban on Robin Storck, the newly appointed chairman of Fijian Holdings Limited.But Peters said what is needed to address these issues is a truly inclusive and independent process of political dialogue, which will formulate solutions in a co-operative and collaborative way. He added that while the interim government has sometimes reacted critically to the actions of the Forum-Fiji Joint Working Group and its individual members, it is important to recognise that those actions are grounded in a deep concern about Fiji’s future. “The current state of the relationship between Fiji and New Zealand is a direct result of the unlawful military takeover of December 2006. While it is true that this event, and the actions stemming from it, have restricted the way we engage with each other, diplomatic channels are most certainly still open and active.”

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