The Commonwealth's special envoy to Fiji says he's had no say in who he meets in a three day visit there.
Sir Paul Reeves says who he engages with, has been dictated by the interim government and he's had to accept that arrangement.
Fiji was suspended last week by the Commonwealth, but Sir Paul's trip is aimed at engaging with the military government.
The interim government has stipulated Sir Paul cannot meet political leaders like Mahendray Chaudry and Laisenia Qarase.
The former governor general of New Zealand says the matter has been out of his hands.
“Well we are very much dependent upon what is arranged for us by the government of the day and they have not included all the political parties and basically whatever be our feelings about that, that is the position we accept.”
Sir Paul was guarded about his first meeting on Wednesday with interim prime minister Frank Bainimarama, but described it as amicable.
“We are seeking to explore the way in which the situation of the interim of administration in Fiji and the possible assistance of the Commonwealth can meet. It was amicable and a good sort of spirit was involved in everything we said, so it was ok.”
Fiji’s interim defence minister says the Commonwealth envoy knew before he arrived in Suva, that he wouldn’t be allowed to talk to opposition politicians.
Ratu Epeli Ganilau says the interim government of Frank Bainimarama warned the Commonwealth secretary-general that Sir Paul would have access only to the military leadership.
Sir Paul’s visit has raised the hopes of several political parties including, the SDL leader, Laisenia Qarase and the Fiji Labour Party leader, Mahendra Chaudry.
But Ratu Epeli says Commodore Bainimarama was upfront with the Commonwealth about what would not be acceptable.
“Well the prime minister made it quite clear, you know, that he was not going to entertain any political parties during this discussion and Secretary General was forewarned about this before Sir Paul Reeves.”
Ratu Epeli Ganilau says the interim government sees Sir Paul’s visit, coming after last week’s Commonwealth suspension, as a positive sign.
He said it was encouraging that just days after Fiji was suspended, it was engaging in talks with a Commonwealth representative.
Fiji is only the second nation to ever be suspended by the Commonwealth.