Failing on Fiji

While the NZ Government has been pandering to officials and representatives of one of the most non-democratic countries in the world another little country that isn’t democratic but is much closer to NZ than China will ever be sets about ignoring our foolish foreign policy stance and is making new friends.

UAE Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdullah Bin Zayed Al NahyanLeaders of the Pacific Island states, including Fiji, will be hoping to tap into the $5.25 billion in Foreign economic aid offered annually by the United Arab Emirates at a historic meeting in Abu Dhabi later this week.

The UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs will convene the first ever Pacific Island Arab League Summit entitled “Prospects for Cooperation between the Arab world and the Pacific Islands” to be held in Abu Dhabi at the Emirates Palace later this week.

The Ministry says following his visit to the Pacific region in February this year, UAE Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdullah Bin Zayed Al Nahyan was inspired by the unexplored opportunities that could be developed between the Arab world and the island states of the Pacific and the potential to strengthen relations on the political, economic and cultural levels.

Fiji’s Prime Minister Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama and Attorney General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum are amongst the 14 Pacific Island leaders who will engage in intense talks with the 21 member countries of the Arab League to explore social, political and economic partnerships and to exchange dialogue on the issues and challenges that are affecting both regions.

We have only our silly insistence that Fiji, alone amongst our trading partners, return instantly to “democracy” under a faulty and corrupt constitution. We don’t expect this of China, nor any other pacific country so why do we insist upon it for Fiji. Meanwhile though Fiji just moves on and makes new friends. China is literally dropping billions into Fiji and now it looks like the UAE will too. The Commodore really has no other option due to our and Australia’s insistence on returning to a system which broke Fiji in the first place.

The Fiji Sun makes mention of our failings:

The Government is also known to have followed up on an official visit by United Arab Emirates Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan in February. This includes on the Pacific Islands Partnership Programme the United Arab Emirates is developing.

It was no coincidence that Mr Sayed-Khaiyum stopped over in the United Arab Emirates just a few weeks ago.

All this underscores again the failure of Canberra and Wellington’s efforts to isolate us internationally. It highlights how any influence they might have had here has disappeared.

When will the politicians and bureaucrats in Canberra and Wellington ever learn? When will they accept the realities of Fiji today and that they cannot dictate Fiji’s internal affairs?

Precisely. We can no more dictate to Fiji about their internal affairs than we can dictate to China. The question is then, why do we?