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U.S. GOVERNMENT ‘CONCERNED’ BY FIJI REGIME High-ranking official to poll Pacific

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, June 24, 2011) – The United States says most Pacific Island governments have quietly expressed growing unease about the situation in Fiji.

Assistant Secretary of State for East Asia and Pacific Affairs Kurt Campbell says he will consult further during next week’s tour which will take him to Kiribati, Samoa, Tonga, Solomon Islands, Papua New Guinea, Palau, the Federated States of Micronesia and the Marshall Islands.

Fiji’s leader, who is accused of human rights abuses, has said he will stay in power until at least 2014 despite calls since the last coup to return the country to democratic rule.

Mr Campbell says the U.S. is looking to New Zealand and Australia to take the lead in dealing with Fiji.

"We are concerned by what we’ve seen. We’ve maintained sanctions on Fiji and we would like very much a civilian government return to power in a transparent, inclusive and open process."

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