New Zealand high commissioner expelled from Fiji


Wellington : Fiji's military government has expelled New Zealand's high commissioner for "interfering" in Fiji's affairs but said other diplomats would remain safe, according to government statements Thursday.

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Fiji's interim prime minister and military chief Voreqe 'Frank' Bainimarama said in a statement that High Commissioner Michael Green had been issued with a persona non-grata order for "interfering" in Fiji's domestic affairs.

New Zealand Foreign Minister Winston Peters told reporters at a press conference in the country's capital Wellington that Green would leave Fiji within four days.

Peters told reporters that Green had merely drawn attention to New Zealand's policy following the Dec 5 coup. Green had not said anything that Peters or New Zealand Prime Minister Helen Clark had not said.

Bainimarama said the decision would not affect any other diplomats.

"This is purely a bilateral matter between Fiji and New Zealand and it in no way should have implications on Fiji's bilateral relations with other countries," he said in a statement.

Most countries with a Pacific presence have embassies in Fiji. Fiji is also the home of international organizations such as the Pacific Islands Forum as well as the United Nations pacific programme.

Peters said New Zealand would "fully review" its relationship with Fiji and consider imposing further sanctions on the regime. This could include extending the visa-freeze on those associated with the interim regime and freezing their investments.