Amid calls for change, Australia reaffirms Fiji policy
Australia has ruled out easing travel bans on the Fiji regime as long as there is a lack of progress towards returning Fiji to democracy and the rule of law.
The foreign ministry in Canberra says it has noted a paper by the Australian Strategic Policy Institute which calls on Australia to change its stance towards Fiji.
It says as soon as the Fiji interim government takes credible and concrete steps to return Fiji to democracy and the rule of law, consideration will be given to moderating travel and other sanctions.
It says travel sanctions, which apply to less than one per cent of Fiji’s population, remain an effective means of encouraging a return to democracy and the rule of law in Fiji.
Canberra has also ruled out a resumption of defence cooperation as the military commander, Commodore Bainimarama, leads an interim government which the Fiji courts have declared unlawful.
The ministry says Fiji’s suspension from the Forum and involvement in PACER Plus is a matter for the entire region to decide upon
It also says Fiji continues to benefit from privileged access to Australian markets, and Australia remains the largest foreign investor in Fiji, one of its top trading partners and its major source of tourism.
January 29, 2010
Australia's Travel Bans To Remain In Place
The first of many sign that Bainimarama and his military regime will continue to be shut out by Australia (and New Zealand).