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Bainimarama Visit

Foreign Affairs Minister Phil Goff announced the Commander of the Fiji Military forces, Commodore Frank Bainimarama is undertaking a private visit to New Zealand.

The Commodore is here for medical treatment, which is not available in Fiji. The New Zealand Government is not meeting any of his expenses during the visit.

"Commander Bainimarama is not on the immigration blacklist and there were no other reasons why he should have been refused entry to New Zealand. He is not a member of the Fijian interim government.

"Commander Bainimarama is widely regarded as having played a positive role in the actions taken against George Speight and in the restoration of stability in Fiji after the coup.

"Late last year he was the target of an armed mutiny by extremist elements seeking to replace him as Commander of the Armed Forces, which was defeated," said Mr Goff.

Mr Goff will be in touch with Commander Bainimarama during his visit to outline the New Zealand Government's expectations of the interim government's response to the upcoming appeal against Justice Gates' ruling that the 1997 constitution is valid.

"The Commander is on record as declaring that the Fiji Military forces will uphold the law and respect the judgement handed down by the Court of Appeal when it decides the appeal," Mr Goff said.


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