By ROD McGUIRK
CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — Fiji’s prime minister says he hopes Australia’s acquisition of a fleet of submarines powered by U.S. nuclear technology will enhance peace in the Pacific region but stopped short of endorsing the increased military cooperation with the United States. Prime Minister Sitiveni Rabuka says he will discuss with Australia’s leader on Wednesday how a “zone of peace” could be established in the Pacific Ocean, including the two countries plus 16 other nations that make up the Pacific Islands Forum bloc. Increased Chinese and U.S. military engagement is adding to tensions in the region. Questioned during an address in Canberra, Rabuka said his government had not backed the signing of an agreement involving the U.S. and Britain to provide nuclear-powered submarines to Australia.