Suva, 11th January 2012: Ratu Inoke Kubuabola, Minister for Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, has responded to comments by Minister Kevin Rudd of Australia regarding the need for real change in Fiji before easing sanctions, saying that the lifting of the Public Emergency Regulations and bringing forward of consultations to February 2012 have been done based on Fiji’s internal assessments and needs, not out of a desire to have Australian sanctions eased.
Minister Kubuabola said that the Australian policy of isolating Fiji has failed, and the Australian claim to be speaking for all Pacific Island Forum countries on Fiji rings hollow with many more PSIDS recognizing and supporting Fiji’s Roadmap. Indeed, said Minister Kubuabola, the fact that Fiji has been able to remove the Public Emergency Regulations is a reflection of the progress being made internally in Fiji, with the support of the people of Fiji for the process outlined in the Roadmap. Minister Rudd’s “wait and see” policy and ever changing demands seem to reflect his inability to formulate a meaningful policy on Fiji, and are not seen as useful either in Fiji or elsewhere in the global community.
Fiji looks forward to the day that Australia seeks to engage with Fiji without threat or condition, in recognition that each country must be allowed to choose its own path for a prosperous future.
Ministry of Foreign Affairs & International Cooperation P. O. Box 2220 Government Buildings Suva, Fiji