10 Dec 2004

Fiji government still waiting for US approval of proposed ambassador to Washington

9:28 am on 10 December 2004

The Fiji government's nomination of the former prime minister, Sitiveni Rabuka, to be its next ambassador to the United States is under review in Washington.

This has been revealed in Suva by the visiting American assistant secretary of state for Asia and the Pacific, Randy Shriver, six months after Mr Rabuka was nominated.

Mr Shriver says part of the reason for the delay was that the Fiji government was not clear on whether there was a police inquiry into Mr Rabuka.

Mr Rabuka himself said a few days ago that the delay was because he still did not have a police clearance.

Mr Shriver also disclosed that there is lobbying in the United States against Mr Rabuka's appointment by credible voices who are raising legitimate concerns.

The Fiji Times quotes the chief executive of foreign affairs, Isikeli Mataitoga, as saying if Mr Rabuka's nomination is rejected, then another name would have to be forwarded.