7 Dec 2006

Samoa's PM says Samoa will not recognise new govt in Fiji

8:19 am on 7 December 2006

Samoa's Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi says the Government of Samoa would not recognize any new government in Fiji that has not been set up with the legal processes of Fiji's Constitution.

Tuilaepa says the unconstitutional removal of the elected government of Fiji by the Military is cause for grave concern to the Government of Samoa.

He says Samoa is a member of the Pacific Islands Forum, the Commonwealth and the United Nations and upholds the principles of law and governance advocated by these organizations.

He has vowed that his country will not recognize any government that is not installed under terms of the constitution.

Samoa last week directed all Samoan students in Fiji to leave as soon as possible.

The last remaining Samoan students in Fiji are expected to leave at the end of this week.

The Government is also discouraging any travel to or through Fiji at this time.

Meanwhile, Papua New Guinea's Prime Minister Sir Michael Somare has expressed his deep regret over the army coup in Fiji.

Sir Michael says all legitimate governments in the region could not condone the actions of Fiji's military chief Frank Bainimarama.

He says the overthrow by the military force of an elected government whose mandate to govern and legislate is drawn from the people must be condemned wherever and whenever it occurs.