New Zealand PM’s Visit To Fiji To Rebuild Ties

Official visit by Key is first since 2006 coup

By Nasik Swami

SUVA, Fiji (Fiji Times, June 9, 2016) – Fiji and New Zealand's relationship is expected to take a new dimension following the official visit by the New Zealand Prime Minister, John Key, today.

New Zealand's high commissioner to Fiji Mark Ramsden said the PM was accompanied by a 14-member delegation and 14 journalists.

During the two-day visit, Mr Key will meet Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama, President Jioji Konrote and Opposition Leader Ro Teimumu Kepa. He will officiate at the opening of the Naiyala High School in Wainibuka.

Mr Key told Radio New Zealand that he believed the time was right for his visit to Fiji.

[PIR editor's note: On June 9, 2016 RNZI reported that 'The Fiji Labour Party has called on New Zealand's prime minister, John Key, who is due in Suva tomorrow, not to apply double standards of democracy. ... In a statement, the FLP leader, Mahendra Chaudhry, said Fiji continued to have autocratic rule behind the strappings of democracy, which made its democracy a farce.']

Mr Key's official visit will be the first by a New Zealand Prime Minister since Mr Bainimarama overthrew the Fijian Government in a military coup in 2006.

According to Radio NZ, Mr Key recently told reporters that Mr Bainimarama's military coup was history, and that he was going to Fiji because it returned to democracy when it held elections in 2014.

He said the time was right to resume the highest level of diplomatic relations.

Mr Key's special flight via a Hercules aircraft is expected to touchdown at Nausori International Airport at 4.10pm today.

Upon his arrival, Mr Key is expected to inspect a guard of honour by the Republic of Fiji Military Forces. His two-day visit ends tomorrow.

Fiji Times Online.
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