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Port Moresby
February 25, 2021
News Pacific

NZ and Fijian PM’s formally meet after a decade

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A half-hour meeting between New Zealand Prime Minister, John Key and Fijian Prime Minister, Frank Bainimarama, which took place on the fringes of the United Nations General Assembly in New York, was the first since the 2006 military coup, led by Mr Bainimarama.

This was for the first time in almost a decade since the Fiji and New Zealand Prime Ministers have formally met.

Diplomatic relations between the two countries were all but frozen after the coup and only restored after Fiji followed through on promised elections in 2014.

New Zealand supported the suspension of Fiji from the Pacific Islands Forum, which was lifted following democratic elections last year.

However, Mr Bainimarama did not attend the Forum in Port Moresby this year, sending his Foreign Minister, Ratu Inoke Kubabola instead.

Fiji times reported that the pair talked about officially visiting each other’s countries in the near future.

“I think I’m the first [New Zealand] prime minister to speak to him since the breakdown I relations in the Helen Clark era,” John Key said.

Mr Key indicated that the 2014 elections in Fiji had restored the diplomatic balance.

“They’ve had elections, it is what it is.”

John Key said New Zealand has a lot of friends in Fiji, with a large number of Fijian nationals living in New Zealand

The New Zealand prime minister said it was time to “put the past behind us and move forward.”

 

 

 

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