16 Jun 2007

Fiji interim PM says Vienna Convention on diplomats will be observed

8:49 am on 16 June 2007

Fiji's interim prime minister says the country values all the diplomatic ties and links it has bilaterally, regionally and multi-laterally.

Commodore Bainimarama gave this assurance in the midst of strong criticism of the decision to expel the New Zealand high commissioner, Michael Green.

Commodore Bainimarama says he would like to reassure all members of the diplomatic corps, including New Zealand's high commission, that the interim government fully values their presence and work in Fiji.

He says the interim administration is committed to providing the assurances, provisions and security as required under the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations, 1961.

Commodore Bainimarama says Fiji remains committed to continue engaging bilaterally and with the international community as well as the Pacific Islands Forum, as the country moves forward to full economic recovery and true parliamentary democracy.

He says the action taken against Michael Green was fully justified given that he had stepped out of line despite repeated warnings.

Meanwhile, the American embassy in Suva has criticised the expulsion saying the decision will erode the interim government's standing and contribute to its isolation both at home and abroad.