KIRIBATI PRESIDENT WANTS FIJI BACK IN FORUM

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Tong says he’ll vote to grant membership to military regime

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, Sept. 6, 2011) – The President of Kiribati, Anote Tong, says he’ll be voting to restore Fiji’s full membership to the Pacific Islands Forum.

And he says there is more support within the Forum for Fiji than might be evident, but he doesn’t think other leaders will be so forthright.

The New Zealand Prime Minister and chairman of the forum John Key has been downplaying support for Fiji, which was suspended in 2009.

But President Tong told reporters that while he doesn’t condone what’s happened in Fiji, he will vote against the suspension.

"If you have six children and one is bad young boy. What do you do with him, you kick him out? You don’t. You never do. Because we are a family and we must act like a family, and so Fiji is part of this family."

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