New Zealand leader visits Fiji for first time in a decade

10 June 2016

A New Zealand leader has visited Fiji for the first time since a military coup there a decade ago, although it's clear that political tensions remain.

The visit by Prime Minister John Key was an attempt to improve relations after Fiji held democratic elections in 2014.

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Key and his Fijian counterpart Voreqe Bainimarama met for formal talks Friday.

Bainimarama said during a welcome speech Thursday that the "strains and irritants" between the countries in recent years provided a textbook case on how not to conduct friendly relationships between neighboring governments.

He said the relationship was now being "reinvigorated and redefined" after a period of estrangement.

Bainimarama also offered thanks to New Zealand for helping out after February's Cyclone Winston, which killed 44 people and destroyed thousands of homes.

-AP

10 June 2016

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