8 Dec 2010

US urges early visa applications by Fiji coup supporters

2:34 pm on 8 December 2010

The United States embassy in Fiji says people identified as participants in, or key supporters of, the December 2006 coup must apply for visas early.

This comes after the British-born Chief Justice Anthony Gates, the Permanent Secretary of Fisheries and Forestry, Commander Viliame Naupoto, and the interim environment minister, Colonel Samuela Saumatua, were recently denied a US visa.

Two months ago, the interim attorney general, Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum was also denied a US visa.

In a statement, the embassy says the US government does not comment publicly on individual cases, nor does it adjudicate visa cases through the media.

But it says those whose names have been entered on a Department of State visa watch list require Washington clearances for a visa.