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Foreign minister: handshake at UN misinterpreted

MELBOURNE, Australia (Radio Australia, Sept. 30, 2010) – Australia's Foreign Minister has rejected reports in Fiji's media that he sought out his Fijian counterpart in New York and said "we need to talk."

The Fiji Sun reported that, after addressing the UN General Assembly, Kevin Rudd approached Ratu Inoke Kubuabola and the two men shook hands.

The newspaper interpreted this as a thawing of relations between the two countries.

However, a statement from Mr Rudd's office said Mr Kubuabola introduced himself as the Foreign Minister of Fiji after shaking hands and there was no substantive discussion.

The statement said Australia, along with New Zealand and the rest of the international community, remains resolute in calling for a prompt return to democracy and the rule of law in Fiji.

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