25 Feb 2010

NZ mum on latest Fiji bid to get travel sanctions lifted

1:18 pm on 25 February 2010

The New Zealand foreign minister, Murray McCully, has declined to comment on the latest call by the Fiji regime to lift sanctions on coupmakers.

Fiji's interim prime minister, Commodore Frank Bainimarama, has told the Auckland-based Radio Tarana that unless New Zealand and Australia remove sanctions there will be no re-appointment of high commissioners for at least two years.

Moves, however, are afoot to upgrade diplomatic missions after repeated expulsions of top diplomats since the 2006 coup.

This year, Mr McCully has met the Fiji Interim foreign minister, Ratu Inoke Kubuabola, several times in a bid to shore up the bilateral ties.

New Zealand had warned Fiji coup plotters in 2006 that travel sanctions would ensue if they removed the elected government by force.

Travel bans were first imposed on Fiji coupmakers in 2000.