3 Apr 2012

Tuvalu opposition wary about diplomatic ties with Caucasians

3:09 pm on 3 April 2012

Tuvalu's opposition has expressed concern over the government's drive to set up diplomatic ties with countries in the Caucasus.

An MP, Enele Sopoaga, says he is concerned that the government is going around establishing relations with countries that have unsettled political issues of concern to the international community.

Last month, Tuvalu formalised links with Armenia which has no diplomatic links with its neighbour Azerbaijan because of its dispute over the Nagorno Karabakh region.

Last year, Tuvalu became one of five countries to recognise Georgia's break-away provinces of Abkhasia and South Ossetia as independent countries.

Mr Sopoaga says as a peace loving nation fully respecting democratic principles and the rule of law, Tuvalu should be more sensitive and selective in its choice of friends.

He says while relations with all countries are important, they must be based on the pursuance and advancement of Tuvalu's values and its political and economic interests.

Mr Sopoaga says diplomatic relations should be a matter for Parliament, not merely something exercised by Cabinet.