Friends again: Kubuabola, Carr and McCully ( photo: Dawn.com)

In another major development this afternoon, Fiji and Australia have agreed to the full restoration of diplomatic ties for the first time since 2009. The two countries will exchange high commissioners, in a move which the Sydney Morning Herald describes as “a signal of faith that the troubled Pacific island nation is back on the path to democracy”. New Zealand and Fiji will also swap high commissioners. The announcement comes after talks in Sydney between Fiji’s Foreign Minister, Ratu Inoke Kubuabola, and his Australian and NZ counterparts, Bob Carr and Murray McCully. It’s a major advance that will have broad repercussions. But why did it take so long?

Here’s a link to a more detailed story from The Australian’s Asia Pacific editor, Rowan Callick.