Release Of Aspi Report On Australia-fiji Relationship

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28th January 2010, 03:00am - Views: 799






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Press Release









Release of ASPI Special Report


‘Time for a fresh approach Australia and Fiji relations post-abrogation’


The Australian Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI) today released a Special Report that argues that it is time

for a fresh approach by the Australian Government  to prepare the grounds for a more effective re-

engagement with the Government of Fiji.


The process of re-engagement has to begin somewhere, sometime by someone to produce a more

productive relationship for the peoples of both Australia and Fiji. Eliminating some of the negatives in the

current bilateral relationship is a necessary first step toward re-engaging positively.


The report recommends:



Rebalance the regional relationship

Fiji should be readmitted to the PACER Plus trade negotiations without conditions.

 


Avoid undiplomatic language

Changing the rhetoric will lower the temperature in the relationship and give other changes more

credibility.



Abandon indefensible travel bans

Travel bans against family members and those who remained at their posts after the 2006 coup should

be eliminated.



Relax defence bans

Australia should be able to follow the American example to ensure that appropriate military

connections exist.



Cooperate on non-traditional security issues

Positive re-engagement with the Fiji Government would be facilitated by working cooperatively on

non-traditional security matters, such as search and rescue and disaster management. 


The author, Dr Richard Herr, is an honorary research associate in the School of Government at the

University of Tasmania. He is also the Deputy Director of the Centre for International and Regional

Affairs at the University of Fiji, where he is Adjunct Professor of Pacific Governance and Diplomacy.

(ENDS)


28 January 2010.


More Information: Please contact the report author Professor Richard Herr on 03 62293432


For copies of the report contact ASPI on (02) 6270 5100 or download from the ASPI website








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