6 Jan 2004

Fiji expects to gain trade advantages from deal exempting US citizens in Fiji from prosecution by th

12:54 pm on 6 January 2004

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Fiji says its agreement with the US over the international criminal court is aimed at increasing trade.

The agreement over Article 98 of the Rome Statute will exempt US citizens in Fiji from prosecution by the International Criminal Court.

The minister Kaliopate Tavola, says the agreement will allow Fiji to negotiate on a stronger basis in areas such as market access for Fiji garments, sugar and preferential arrangements for a number of exports to the US.

Fiji Live quotes Mr Tavola as saying Fiji can also look forward to assistance from the US government if they participate in the reconstruction of Iraq.

He says the initial agreement was made three months ago, although the signing proper will be done when prime minister Laisenia Qarase visits Washington later this year.