Friday, October 1, 2010

"Free and Fair Election For Fiji" : USA Echoes their Intention to Coup leader Bainimarama.

Whilst we applaud the Americans for stepping in to negotiate a Fair & Free Elections for Fiji one must remember that there has been alot of backroom work being done by neighboring Pacific Island Regions i.e New Zealand, Australia, Vanuatu, Samoa & others.

The Commonwealth has been firm in its position as it had had put the military man & his regime in the sin bin post 2006 coup. Canadians echoed their support as well for the Pacific Island forum in their stand. United Nations has to a degree but we thought it took too much of a soft approach.

All in all the efforts have been well noted by those of us monitoring Fiji saga without getting too overly caught up with who is wanting 'air-time' on blogosphere by these power hungry military regime in Fiji.

We do thank these key nations who have heard the Voices of Fiji people in Fiji and abroad that all has not been well for the Nation as can be seen with its poor economic, political, social and cultural performance since the military took over in 2006. Perhaps this is the big break we have been waiting for.
God Bless Fiji.
Luvei Viti Think Tank Team.
Original story by AFP below;

US ready to engage Fiji

WASHINGTON — The United States said Wednesday it was ready for dialogue with Fiji's military ruler Voreqe Bainimarama but that it would only ease sanctions in return for progress on democracy.

Kurt Campbell, the assistant secretary of state for East Asia, said that the United States wanted the Pacific island again to be a close US partner as it was before Bainimarama's 2006 coup.

"We now hope, in close coordination with regional players, to seek more direct engagement with Prime Minister Bainimarama to encourage his government to take steps to restore democracy and freedom," Campbell said.

Testifying before Congress, Campbell said such engagement would offer Fiji a chance for international acceptance "while reinforcing the message that any easing of US sanctions is tied to the restoral of democratic processes."

"Our objective is to put Fiji back on track for reintegration into international institutions and for holding free and fair elections no later than 2014," Campbell said.

Bainimarama recently suggested the 2014 election date after expelling Australia's ambassador. The military leader had faced wide criticism after calling off elections he promised for 2009.

US law imposes sanctions on any nation where the military ousts an elected government, including restrictions on assistance, military sales and visas for coup leaders.

But Campbell said that the United States maintained limited assistance, including in disaster preparedness and on inter-ethnic dialogue, and found that the engagement was "yielding positive results."

President Barack Obama's administration has made engagement a hallmark of its foreign policy. The United States has pursued a similar line in Myanmar, also known as Burma, where Campbell has initiated dialogue but called for greater process on democracy.

Read more;

1 comment:

  1. US to boost links with NZ and Australia in approach to Fiji

    Posted at 01:40 on 01 October, 2010 UTC

    The US Secretary of State for East Asia says Washington is boosting diplomacy with New Zealand and Australia as it is striving for progress towards democracy in Fiji.

    Kurt Campbell was responding to American Samoa’s US Congressman, Faleomavaega Eni Hunkin, at the Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Asia the Pacific and the Global Environment.

    Faleomavaega says New Zealand and Australian policies towards Fiji have been counterproductive.

    Mr Campbell says he understands the Congressman’s plea for dialogue, adding that some progress was made at the UN General Assembly.

    “At the Pacific leaders forum, Secretary Clinton very graciously engaged the Foreign Minister and indicated that it is high on the American priority to figure out if there’s a way that we can be helpful in engaging diplomatically. I must also say we are stepping up our coordination and dialogue with New Zealand and Australia who we also believe have key critical interests in Fiji as a whole.”

    Kurt Campbell says the US wants to ensure that Fiji’s interim government keeps to its commitment to hold elections by 2014.

    News Content © Radio New Zealand International
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