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SUVA, Fiji (August 10, 1997 - PACNEWS)---Fiji's efforts to rejoin the Commonwealth has received the support of the Caribbean nation of Barbados.

Prime Minister Owen Arthur made the offer to endorse Fiji's membership while meeting with a visiting Fiji ministerial delegation.

The four member group, led by new Fiji Foreign Minister Berenado Vunibobo, was in the Barbados capital of Bridgetown, briefing Arthur about Fiji's new constitution, which again allows Fiji citizens of any ethnicity to hold ministerial positions, including prime minister. Until the change, only indigenous Fijians were permitted to hold cabinet rank.

Fiji's membership in the Commonwealth, which lapsed in 1987 after two coups led by current Prime Minister Sitiveni Rabuka, is expected to be renewed during the biennial Commonwealth leaders' conference in Scotland next October.

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