New Zealand To Assist Fiji Constitution Commission

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Fiji government working to ‘normalize’ relations with Wellington

By Ropate Valemei

SUVA, Fiji (Fijilive, July 22, 2012) – The New Zealand Government is ready to assist Fiji's Constitution Commission with a donation of $0.5 million to boost its operations.

Fiji’s Minister for Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Ratu Inoke Kubuabola met up with New Zealand’s Foreign Affairs Minister, Murray McCully yesterday to strengthen ties between the two countries.

"The Fiji Government is working on re-building diplomatic relations between Fiji and New Zealand," he said in a statement.

"International relations are about building cordial relations between countries, and in the same breath, countries work on mutual cooperation in areas of common interest." Kubuabola who recently returned from the opening of Fiji’s newest diplomatic mission in South Korea said the meeting with his New Zealand counterpart was a positive one and highlighted New Zealand’s willingness to assist Fiji in its constitutional reforms.

He said that since Fiji was suspended from the Pacific Islands Forum (PIF) in 2009, the nation’s "Look North Plus" foreign policy has been revamped to establish ties with countries that understood Fiji’s political and economic situation.

However, he said with yesterday’s meeting, he is optimistic that relations between Fiji and New Zealand is beginning to normalise; an added impetus towards good governance and democratic elections, all of which are central in Fiji’s way forward.

McCully left Fiji yesterday.

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