Australia Opposition Keen To Normalize Relations With Fiji

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Deputy leader would like Fiji to rejoin Commonwealth, PIF

By Mereani Gonedua

SUVA, Fiji (Fijilive, August 1, 2013) – Normalizing relations between Australia and Fiji will be a priority for an incoming Australian government, says Deputy Opposition Leader Julie Bishop.

Speaking at the Australia-Fiji business forum dinner this week in Brisbane Bishop said they encourage Fiji to hold elections as promised in 2014 and they welcome and encourage that commitment.

"It is now time to rebuild the bridges. Should a Coalition Government be elected at some stage this year I commit to ensuring that normalizing relations between Australia and Fiji is a priority of an incoming government," Bishop said.

"I know that there will be challenges. I know that there will be a number of issues for us to address, but with the will and commitment on both sides I believe that we can achieve whatever we set out to achieve."

"I would like to see, should the Coalition be elected the restoration of full diplomatic relations between Australia and Fiji."

"I would like to see Fiji welcomed back into the Commonwealth, the Pacific Island Forum and other forums around the world."

"I’m not pretending that an election can solve all issues – although I have to say that an election in Australia would solve a lot of issues."

"What I believe we should aim for is to support Fiji in its elections in 2014 and on behalf of the Coalition I pledge our support, in whatever form Fiji requires, to assist them to overcome the challenges that come with going on the path to parliamentary democracy and constitutional law and rule."

"What I believe we should aim for is to support Fiji in its elections in 2014 and on behalf of the Coalition I pledge our support, in whatever form Fiji requires, to assist them to overcome the challenges that come with going on the path to parliamentary democracy and constitutional law and rule."

"Fiji with the support of its friends, Australia should never and will never if I have anything to do with it, forsake Fiji," Bishop said.

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