Statement by French Ministry of Foreign Affairs Deputy Spokesman, Romain Nadal
Paris, January 3, 2012
France welcomes the announcement by Mr. Bainimarama, President of the Republic of the Fiji Islands, of the complete lifting of the state of emergency from Saturday, January 7. It had repeatedly called for the lifting of this state of emergency.
The state of emergency was imposed in 2009 and notably restricts the freedom of assembly and the freedom of the press.
If it is confirmed, this will be an important step toward re-establishing the rule of law and democracy in the Fiji Islands. France encourages the Fijian authorities to continue their efforts in this direction, in accordance with the commitments made to the European Union within the framework of the Cotonou Agreement.
It also welcomes the launch of political consultations, scheduled for February 2012, aimed at drafting a new Constitution. France hopes that inclusive political dialogue can be initiated, with a view toward the introduction of effective reforms which respond to the legitimate aspirations of the Fijian people and contribute to restoring democracy.