And… Kiss!

via RNZ

via RNZ

 

Fijian Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama was on Saturday welcomed to Government House in Auckland for his first official New Zealand visit since he took power in a coup in 2006.

Mr Bainimarama was greeted with a powhiri and a military inspection before he sat down with Prime Minister John Key for talks.

Mr Key said the topics discussed included development and aid, the PACER Plus pregional free trade agreement, defence links and regional sport.

He said the visits reflected an improving relationship since Fiji’s 2014 election.

Mr Bainimarama told reporters he had come looking for much stronger engagement with New Zealand.

“I am very pleased the prime minister has worked with me to take our relationship to another level; a relationship in which we let bygones be bygones,” he said.

Although he was not expected to answer questions, Mr Bainimarama fielded a few, rebuking the first journalist who asked about changes to Fiji’s electoral system as not having done their homework.

Asked why he had lifted a ban three journalists from New Zealand and Australia entering Fiji last week, Mr Bainimarama said it was part of the diplomatic process.

“We want to expand on the relationship,” he said.

He said criticism from Fiji’s director of public Pprosecutions over the recent temporary arrests of five prominent opposition figures in Fiji showed the country’s institutions were independent.

Afterwards, Mr Key told media while the end of the travel ban was a good sign, humans rights in Fiji were still an area where discussion and engagement was needed.

“I have always said the restoration of democracy in Fiji was a good and important step, but it does evolve over time,” he said.

Like Mr Bainimarama, Mr Key was keen to not dwell on the past.

“If we can just continue to look forward now and not necessarily look back, that’ll be good for both Fiji and New Zealand.”

John Key has made a pragmatic move by looking forward. ?Especially when NZ is happy to trade with Saudi Arabia and China, getting off the colonial soapbox telling Fiji how to run its affairs is a great first move.

As it was, relations between Fiji and New Zealand have been just fine. ?It’s just the damn policy wonks and the self pleasuring cross-eyed mandarins at MFAT that have been trying to rekindle the past where New Zealand and Australia tell the “islands” what’s what and when to do it.

And as you read above, the Media Party are still trying to make it all about them and their precious has-been colleagues. ?Thank goodness media isn’t part of a diplomatic process. ?They’re vindictive and inward looking idiots. ?Bainimarama has their measure, and they might as well give up.

 

– NZN, Yahoo! News

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