12 Jul 2011

Sacking of Vanuatu's ambassador to UN will cost thousands of dollars

10:31 am on 12 July 2011

The sacking of Vanuatu's ambassador to the United Nations, Donald Kalpokas, will cost the people of Vanuatu more than 300,000 US dollars.

The foreign minister, Alfred Carlot, has recently publicly criticised Mr Kalpokas, who's a former prime minister.

Mr Carlot said he'd have to let Mr Kalpokas go because he's an old man and his performance is very poor.

Mr Kalpokas had his contract renewed last year for another three years but he upset the government when he didn't follow the government's line that Vanuatu was now recognising the breakaway Georgian territory of Abkhazia.

The Vanuatu government has since said it hasn't yet recognised Abkhazia but is working towards it.

Meanwhile Mr Kalpokas has rejected the criticism from the foreign minister, saying, while he's old, he's working to the best of his ability.

Cancelling the contract would mean a payout for Mr Kalpokas of more than 320,000 US dollars.