The foreign ministers of Australia, New Zealand and Fiji, Senator Bob Carr, the Hon Murray McCully and Ratu Inoke Kubuabola, held a trilateral meeting today in Sydney. The last such trilateral meeting was held in Canberra in February 2010.
The meeting built on the positive momentum generated by the Pacific Islands Forum Ministerial Contact Group (MCG) visit to Fiji from 30 April to 1 May, attended by Senator Carr and Minister McCully and hosted by Minister Kubuabola.
Minister Kubuabola provided an update on progress in Fiji towards the 2014 democratic elections, including preparations for the constitutional consultations and electronic voter registration.
Ministers had a constructive discussion on progress to date. Senator Carr and Minister McCully raised concerns about media freedoms and human rights and looked forward to further steps. Minister Kubuabola reiterated his government's commitment to ensuring an environment in which free, fair and inclusive elections can be held.
The ministers agreed to exchange high commissioners to ensure channels of dialogue between the respective countries were open and effective.
Ministers further agreed to consider more flexible implementation of travel sanctions, on a case-by-case basis.
Senator Carr, Minister McCully and Minister Kubuabola reaffirmed that Australia, New Zealand and Fiji would continue to work together closely to support Fiji's return to democracy.
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