7 Dec 2010

Bound for Mexico, Fiji minister fails to get US visa

6:39 pm on 7 December 2010

The Fiji interim government says the United States has refused to grant Fiji's interim environment minister, Colonel Samuela Saumatua, a visa to attend the UN climate change conference in Mexico.

The attorney-general, Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum, has told FBC News that it's disappointing that Fiji is being frustrated through the deplorable conduct by the US Embassy.

This comes shortly after Mr Sayed-Khaiyum revealed that the British-born chief justice, Anthony Gates, and another senior Fiji official also recently failed to get a US visa.

The website Fijilive says two months ago, Mr Sayed-Khaiyum was himself denied a US visa.

Last month, Fiji expelled an American businessman for allegedly interfering in Fiji's domestic affairs.

The US embassy in Suva didn't comment and the Fiji interim regime refused to say whether he had broken a law.