US and Australia drop sanctions against Fiji following elections in South Pacific nation

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The U.S. and Australia have removed sanctions against Fiji following democratic elections last month in the South Pacific nation.

Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop on Friday began a two-day visit to Fiji, describing it as the start of a new era in the relationship between the two countries. She announced that Australia had lifted all remaining sanctions, including the sale of weapons.

U.S. Ambassador to Fiji Frankie Reed said in a statement the United States was lifting restrictions on its financial assistance to the Fijian government. Reed said it was also exploring opportunities to resume engaging with Fiji's military.

Fiji's election last month was the first since military ruler Voreqe Bainimarama seized control in a 2006 coup. His Fiji First party won a decisive victory at the polls.