Pacific Islands Forum to discuss Fiji

Nov. 27, 2006 at 8:17 AM
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CANBERRA, Australia, Nov. 27 (UPI) -- Australian Foreign Minister Alexander Downer announced a meeting of the 16 nations of the Pacific Islands Forum to discuss the threat of a coup in Fiji.

Downer Monday told Parliament the meeting, set for Friday, was called in Sydney in response to threats by Fijian military commander Commodore Frank Bainimarama to overthrow the government.

"I hope the Commodore understands these messages from Fiji's friends, from its neighbors, that the region is united in endeavoring to ensure that a coup does not take place," Downer said.

The Forum could intervene in Fiji under the terms of the Biketawa Declaration, which was used to establish the Regional Assistance Mission to the Solomon Islands.

Bainimarama, who is on a private visit to New Zealand, has warned all foreigners not to interfere in Fiji's internal affairs.

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