Australia, New Zealand restore diplomacy with Fiji

Jul 31, 2012, 8:11 AM

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) – New Zealand and Australia have decided to restore full diplomatic ties with the island nation of Fiji.

Relations between the three countries have been strained since Commodore Frank Bainimarama seized power in Fiji during a 2006 coup. But with Bainimarama promising to hold free elections in 2014, tensions have been easing.

Australia and New Zealand say they will again station top diplomats known as high commissioners in Fiji and will ease travel restrictions on Fijians associated with the regime. Fiji will reciprocate by placing top diplomats in New Zealand and Australia. New Zealand will also end a ban on Fiji participating in certain sporting events.

The announcement came this week after a meeting in Sydney between the foreign ministers of the three nations.

(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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Australia, New Zealand restore diplomacy with Fiji