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NZ Extends Sanctions On Fiji

New Zealand has extended its smart and political sanctions against Fiji as the chaos in the island nation increases.

Speaking at a press conference in Parliament today, Prime Minister Helen Clark said 41 Fijian military personnel, currently in New Zealand, would be sent home immediately. Two high ranking New Zealand military personnel based at the Fijian military headquarters would be recalled.

The Prime Minister also announced a continuation of the sporting ban on Fiji - which denies athletes representing Fiji visas for international visits - to the end of the year.

The announcement follows the sudden postponement of a ceremony to swear in the new interim government in Fiji this morning.

Earlier this morning, rebel leader George Speight said the ceremony would not go ahead until the country’s new president, Ratu Josefa Iloilo, had discussed the composition of the new government with him.

Speight had yesterday threatened violence and public disorder after the interim Prime Minister Laisenea Qarase ignored requests to consult him on the new Fijian regime.

Meanwhile, interim Prime Minister gave a different reason for the postponement saying President Iloilo was “ill in bed”.

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