PRIME MINISTER SIGNALS NEW ZEALAND SUPPORT FOR FIJI'S RETURN TO COMMONWEALTHPrime Minister
New Zealand supports Fiji's readmission to the Commonwealth before the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in October, Prime Minister Jim Bolger said today.
"I have written to Commonwealth Secretary General Anyaoku stating New Zealand's support for Fiji and indicating our hope that a consensus on Fiji's readmission can be achieved before the Edinburgh CHOGM," Mr Bolger said.
Secretary General Anyaoku had earlier written to all Commonwealth leaders seeking their views on Fiji's possible return to the fold, Mr Bolger said. This was in response to a joint letter of application for readmission from Fiji Prime Minister Rabuka and Leader of the Opposition Mr Jai Ram Reddy.
Mr Bolger made his comments today after returning from his visit to the Pacific Islands last week where he had discussed Fiji's application with leaders from Samoa and Tonga.
"Together with other Pacific leaders I am very heartened by the recent constitutional changes that have been adopted in Fiji. The new Constitution grants equal rights and opportunities to all communities in Fiji and is a solid base from which to work."
Fiji's revised Constitution was adopted unanimously by both houses of the Fiji Parliament in July.
"On the strength of the new Constitution, as well as the degree of support it has received, I hope that Fiji will be welcomed back into the Commonwealth at an early date," the Prime Minister said.