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Showing posts from February 1, 2015

Watch Out Australia (and New Zealand)

Look out Australia, the Pacific mood is shifting By Online Editor
10:00 pm GMT+12, 03/02/2015, Australia
By Nic Maclellan

Next month Foreign Minister Julie Bishop will host a meeting of Pacific leaders to discuss Pacific regionalism and the future of the Pacific Islands Forum. The key subtext of the meeting will be the re-integration of Fiji into regional economic, security and political structures, following its 2009 suspension from the Commonwealth and the Forum.

Fiji's September 2014 elections have opened the way for re-engagement with the FijiFirst Government led by Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama. Officials from Canberra and Wellington are eagerly re-establishing links with the Fiji Military Forces (officer training in Canberra, participation in joint exercises, an invitation to the next South Pacific Defence Ministers' Meeting, an RNZAF Orion aircraft to patrol Fiji's EEZ...the list goes on).

But anyone who expects the Fiji military to come kowtowing to t…