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New Australian minister wants to engage with Fiji

March 8, 2012 1:58 am

New Australian foreign minister Bob Carr is likely to soften their stand on Fiji after six years of isolation.

Carr has replaced Kevin Rudd who was criticised for his lack of interest in the Pacific especially Fiji.

The new foreign minister will travel to New Zealand tomorrow to meet with Prime Minister John Key to discuss Fiji’s banning from the Pacific Islands Forum in 2009.

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Australian media reports that some sanctions placed against Fiji after 2006 could be lifted by Carr.

Earlier the opposition told the incoming minister not to ignore Fiji.

Australia Opposition foreign affairs spokeswoman Julie Bishop says Australia should lead the way with engagement.

She says the change in foreign minister is an opportunity for the Labour government to recast its relationship with Fiji.

She says there needs to be open discussions with Fiji on electoral reform.

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