US SEEKS DIALOGUE WITH RECALCITRANT FIJI

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Foreign Secretary Clinton calls for partnership

By Bruce Hill MELBOURNE, Australia (Radio Australia, Sept. 28, 2010) - United States Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has told Fiji's Foreign Affairs Minister that the US wants dialogue and partnership with Fiji.

Ratu Inoke Kubuabola was taking part in a meeting between the Secretary of State and other senior Pacific leaders in New York.

The regional leaders met with Hillary Clinton for 75 minutes on Tuesday, and she assured them that the US is committed to working closely with Fiji and the Pacific Islands.

[PIR editor’s note: Following Clinton’s statement, Kubuabola stated in a FijiVillage report explaining to Clinton, "Fiji's Strategic Framework for Change, the welcome reopening of the US AID office in Suva and greater national attention to combating human trafficking and intellectual property rights infringements."]

A state department official says the dialogue is based on a profound recognition of Fiji's central role in Pacific matters.

The Pacific delegations expressed satisfaction that the US was now demonstrating, a higher level of involvement after many years.

The Fiji government has put a photograph of Ratu Inoke and Ms Clinton on the front of their website, but whether her remarks represent a change in policy remains to be seen.

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