11 Jan 2007

Overseas travel ban imposed on Fiji military and ministers of interim government

11:40 am on 11 January 2007

The travel ban imposed on Fiji's military by several overseas governments has been extended to ministers of the interim government it has appointed.

The Daily Post reports that the Australian government says the appointment of members of the interim government is illegitimate and unconstitutional.

A statement from the Australian High Commission in Suva says members of the interim administration as well as their families will no longer be able to travel to Australia.

The United States State Department says the newly sworn in interim ministers are included in the travel ban placed earlier on the military.

New Zealand has aligned itself with Australia and says the newly sworn in interim administration is not legitimate and its travel bans will apply to the ministers.

New Zealand also says it is disappointed that the Labour Party leader, Mahendra Chaudhry, had decided to join the interim administration.

Soon after his swearing in on Tuesday, Mr Chaudhry said he was not worried by any travel bans New Zealand and Australia may impose on him.

Mr Chaudhry said he had seen enough of New Zealand and Australia and could do without the two countries for a while.