16 Nov 2006

Fiji military opposes any foreign intervention

2:08 pm on 16 November 2006

Fiji's military will strongly resist any foreign intervention by Australia and New Zealand under the Biketawa Declaration.

The agreement was signed Pacific Forum leaders in 2000 enabling them to intervene and help in times of crisis.

Both the Fiji prime minister, Laisenia Qarase, and the foreign affairs minister. Kaliopate Tavola, as well as the Australian foreign minister Alexander Downer and New Zealand officials have talked of the Biketawa Declaration with reference to events in Fiji.

The Fiji military spokesman, Major Neumi Leweni, says any such intervention by foreign forces will be seen as a surrender of sovereignty and fiercely resisted.

He says the Biketawa Declaration is not the solution but a problem.

Major Leweni says the declaration is being exploited by countries like Australia and New Zealand to facilitate their foreign policy and as a front for neocolonialism.

He says Fiji has proved itself in many theatres of war and will not stand by and see any foreign force interfere with its affairs.