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Wants Australian to reduce travel difficulties for Fiji citizens

By Avinesh Gopal SUVA, Fiji (Fiji Times, Jan. 5, 2012) – The Australia Fiji Business Council has asked the Australian government to acknowledge the steps taken by its Fijian counterpart in lifting the Public Emergency Regulations.

And the council has asked the Australian government to make some adjustments to the travel sanctions imposed on Fijians.

Council president Greg Pawson made the call yesterday while welcoming the lifting of the PER on January 7.

Mr Pawson welcomed the announcements by Prime Minister Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama on the lifting of the PER.

"This is a positive first step in moving Fiji in the right direction of normalcy but there remains much more to be done to reassure potential foreign investors including ensuring legal rights of redress," he said.

He said lifting of the PER would provide an opportunity to move forward.

Mr Pawson said the Australian government had previously said that the lifting of the PER would, with some other steps, assist in moving bilateral relations onto a more normal footing.

"The council now calls on the Australian government to acknowledge this step by the Fiji government and make some adjustment to the travel sanctions on Fiji citizens to reduce the difficult impact they are creating for business and on families."

Mr Pawson also called on the two governments to restore their respective diplomatic missions to full operating status.

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