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Goff - More Achieved In Samoa Than Expected

Speaking to a press conference on his return from the inaugural South Pacific Forum Foreign Minister's meeting in Apia today, Foreign Minister Phil Goff said that "what we achieved, was more than expected".

He was referring primarily to the obvious main topic of discussion during last weekend's Apia forum - the political turmoil in Fiji.

Saying talks took place in the 'Pacific Way' which he described as " far less direct," Mr Goff said a positive result of the weekend was the adopting of principles for non-discrimination based on race, creed and religion.

He added that Pacific foreign ministers "as a group" expected there to be urgent action on the return to democratic rule in Fiji and talk of a three year timetable was "far to slow".

"It is important the Pacific reached consensus and I think we went further toward that than many commentators would have thought possible."

Mr Goff also applauded the decision to lay treason charges against coup leader George Speight, and said the NZ High Commissioner to Fiji, Tia Barrett, would be returning to Suva in a month.

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