23 Apr 2013

Vanuatu minister explains reasoning for sacking diplomats

1:51 pm on 23 April 2013

Vanuatu's Minister of foreign affairs, Edward Natapei, has sacked eight diplomats since his appointment a month ago.

Mr Natapei, who is also the deputy prime minister, told local media the termination of diplomatic positions is not a new policy.

He said in 2009 the then foreign minister, Joe Natuman, had made an attempt to review some of these appointments but he didn't finish the job due to a change of government.

He says many of these appointments were made in haste and were without clear terms of reference as to what the job entails.

Mr Natapei says they were appointed as representatives of the Vanuatu Parliament overseas.

But he says many of those appointed were granted diplomatic passports, without meeting requirements under the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic and Consular Relations.

He says the Government should not undermine the credibility of Parliament.