The Prime Minister of Papua New Guinea, Sir Michael Somare, has called on Pacific Islands Forum countries – particularly Australia and New Zealand – to treat Fiji more leniently.
Sir Michael, speaking to the media in the Solomon Islands at the conclusion of a three-day visit, said Fiji needed time to get out of its political mayhem.
He said the meaning of military dictatorship In the Pacific was different from the definition of military dictatorship in the Western world.
Sir Michael felt that although Fiji had been expelled from the Forum and Commonwealth, it was heartening that Australia said it was prepared to welcome back the Fiji high commissioner in Australia.
He noted that even the United States President, Barack Obama congratulated Fiji’s interim Prime Minister, Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama, during Fiji’s independence anniversary last week.
Sir Michael said the United Nations, European Union and International Monetary Fund would be visiting Fiji in the coming weeks to reestablish their ties with Fiji, while Chinese and Japanese aid assistance was continuing as normal.
He claimed everything in Fiji was slowly returning to normal with the economy picking up again and foreign reserves up dramatically, but Fiji still faced pressure to return to democracy
- Radio NZ International/Pacific Media Watch