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Lack of progress towards democracy cited

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (RNZI, Sept. 28, 2010) - The European Union (EU) has extended its sanctions against Fiji for a further six months.

The step was first taken in 2007 as part of an effort to encourage the interim government in Suva to help restore democracy, respect for human rights and of the rule of law in the country.

[PIR editor’s note: A separate report states that Fiji was also suspended from the Pacific Islands Forum and the Commonwealth since last year, over the regime's refusal to hold elections.]

The EU says the latest extension follows the continued lack of progress in the implementation of key commitments that Fiji had agreed with the EU in 2007.

These commitments relate mainly to the respect for democratic principles, rule of law, human rights and fundamental freedoms.

The sanctions mean that assistance to Fiji’s sugar sector continues to be withheld.

The Fiji regime has said it will not relinquish power to an elected government for another four years.

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