FIJI: Kevin Rudd rejects regime's 'publicity stunt' reform
SYDNEY —Australia will need to see real change in Fiji before it considers lifting sanctions on those responsible for the 2006 coup and senior interim government appointees, Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd said yesterday.
Rudd told Radio Australia that while the lifting of Public Emergency Regulations was welcome, more concrete changes are needed.
"What we have is a whole pattern of behaviour on behalf of the regime towards its church leaders, trade union leaders, political opponents and the media," he said.
Fiji's Foreign Minster Ratu Inoke Kubuabola yesterday hit back at Rudd's comments, saying the lifting of the emergency laws and bringing consultations forward to next month had been done based on Fiji's internal assessments and needs, not out of a desire to have Australian sanctions eased.
Kubuabola said the Australian policy of isolating Fiji had failed.