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FIJI SUSPENSION ‘INEVITABLE’ NEW ZEALAND SAYS Foreign Affairs Minister sees no other way

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, April 30, 2009) – New Zealand’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Murray McCully, says it now seems inevitable that Fiji will be suspended from the Pacific Islands Forum at midnight tonight.

The regional grouping set a deadline of today for Fiji to announce a credible date for elections, or face suspension.

Fiji’s President has made it clear elections will not be held until 2014, which Forum leaders consider unacceptable.

The Forum has also indicated that recent events, including the abrogation of the constitution and a clampdown on the media, have strengthened its resolve to suspend Fiji.

Murray McCully says it is hard to see how that can now be avoided.

"The deadlines has been set and doesn’t look like we are going to see anything that is going to stave it off."

Murray McCully says the Forum will also consider whether to move its Suva-based secretariat, as it monitors the situation over the coming weeks.

Radio New Zealand International:

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