16 Jun 2007

Fiji interim PM says his administration wants to retain good relationship with NZ

8:38 am on 16 June 2007

Fiji's interim prime minister says Fiji wants to retain all relationships with New Zealand and only wants its high commissioner, Michael Green, replaced.

Commodore Bainimarama made the statement after strong criticism of the interim administration's decision to expel Mr Green amid threats of reprisals by New Zealand including an upgrading of its travel advisories on Fiji.

Commodore Bainimarama says as far as he is concerned, Fiji's relations with New Zealand remain intact.

He says the important thing to remember is that Fiji values its entire spectrum of relationships with New Zealand, it's objection is only to Mr Green as a person given his persistent interference in Fiji's domestic politics.

Commodore Bainimarama says it is totally unfair and out of context for the New Zealand government to advise its citizens to be careful if visiting Fiji because of the incident involving its high commissioner.

The interim prime minister says Fiji cannot become more dangerous or a security risk to New Zealanders simply because of the action taken against its high commissioner.

He says Fiji remains a safe, peaceful and attractive tourist and investment destination for all its markets, including New Zealand.