Pacific Media Watch

6 August 2010

FIJI: McCully blames NZ media for contact group failure

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NZ Foreign Affairs Minister Murray McCully
Coverage of initiative led to Fiji dropping invitation

6957 PORT VILA: New Zealand's Foreign Affairs Minister Murray McCully has blamed the New Zealand media for the failure in the Forum Ministerial Contact Group to re-engage with Fiji.

McCully said Fiji had invited the group but withdrew the invitation following the NZ media's coverage of the events.

"The interim PM made some strong statements when he saw what was in the NZ media coverage of the MCG press conference.

"I am often moved to hostile thoughts when I see NZ media coverage as well," McCully said, implying that he understood Fiji's position.

"We will have the opportunity to still come to Fiji and engage in meaningful dialogue."

McCully said he was hopeful he would visit Fiji again. He said he had been briefed by his Fiji counterpart, Ratu Inoke Kubuabola, and
believed that they had a part to play in finding a way forward.

The minister could not reveal the contents of the Forum Ministerial Contact Group but said there was no basis for recommending to leaders
any further action to Fiji's current suspension from the forum.

The Pacific Leaders Forum meeting was officially opened yesterday in Port Vila, Vanuatu.

The Fiji flag was flying beside the Australia and New Zealand flags.

Forum officials said Fiji was still part of the forum but suspended. - Fiji Times/Pacific Media Watch

Pacific Media Watch

PMC's media monitoring service

Pacific Media Watch is compiled for the Pacific Media Centre as a regional media freedom and educational resource by a network of journalists, students, stringers and commentators. (cc) Creative Commons