13 Feb 2007

Fiji accuses Australia of proposing its expulsion from the International Monetary Fund

7:40 am on 13 February 2007

Australia has failed in a bid to have Fiji suspended from the International Monetary Fund.

Fiji TV reports that this has been confirmed by the interim finance minister, Mahendra Chaudhry, who says he was informed of Australia's failed attempt by the Reserve Bank of Fiji.

Mr Chaudhry says Australia did not get the support of other member countries of the International Monetary Fund.

He says had Australia succeeded in having Fiji suspended, it would have had very serious effects on Fiji's economy, would have affected Fiji's membership of the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank and impacted on Fiji's ability to raise international loans.

Mr Chaudhry says fortunately for Fiji, Australia failed.

He says this raises serious questions about whether Australia is Fiji's friend or foe.

Mr Chaudhry says events similar to those in Fiji also occurred in Pakistan and Thailand but Australia did not attempt such punitive actions against those two countries.