Soured relations between New Zealand and Fiji are “ancient history” and the timing is right to visit, says Prime Minister John Key.
It is the first time in a decade a New Zealand Prime Minister will visit the island nation.
The relationship between the two nations broke down following the 2006 military coup and sanctions were put on Fiji until it returned to “free and fair elections”.
Diplomatic relations have been restored since 2014 when Fijian Prime Minister Josaia Voreqe Bainimarama, known as Frank Bainimarama, was democratically elected.
Key said he endorsed then Prime Minister, Helen Clark’s, decision to sanction Fiji but always said the relationship would “normalise” when Fiji returned to democratic elections.
Key offered to visit Fiji because “it’s an important relationship for us in the Pacific”.
Good to see relations heading back to normal. Fiji has had democratic elections but there are still disturbing incidents such as the resignation of the Police Commissioner over military interference.