No clear answers on travel sanctions
15:08 Fri Feb 14, 2014
Taken from/By: ABC Report by: Edwin Nand
Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop hasn’t given any clear answers on when travel sanctions against members of the Bainimarama government will be lifted.
Before leaving for Fiji, Bishop spoke to ABC in Australia, saying the issue will be discussed with Fijian leaders over the next two days.
“Our travel sanctions on figures in the Fijian government are under review. I have had very productive discussions with Foreign Minister Kubuabola about this and I expect to have discussions this weekend as well.”
Bishop is here with the Pacific Island Forum Ministerial Contact Group but will also be having bilateral meetings with Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama during her visit.
She stresses that Canberra has relaxed its stand on the travel ban in recent years.
“Exemptions have been made, visas have been granted. Arrangements have been made particularly on compassionate grounds. So as we move towards September, I’m ensuring that the visa arrangements remain under review and hopefully, we’ll be able to make some announcements about that.”
The Liberal Party, during elections in Australia had committed to normalizing relations with Fiji.