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Approach to NZ to provide Fiji military commander

Rt Hon Winston Peters
Minister of Foreign Affairs
Hon Phil Goff
Minister of Defence

18 May 2006

Media statement

Approach to NZ to provide Fiji military commander

Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters and Defence Minister Phil Goff say there is no substance to the claim that New Zealand is intending to provide a New Zealander to the position of military commander in Fiji.

The Ministers were responding to claims made in the media in Fiji by the current Commander, Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama.

“New Zealand has received no such request from the Fiji government and the provision of a New Zealand military commander is therefore not under consideration," said Mr Peters and Mr Goff.

Commodore Bainimarama’s claims have been made at a time when Fiji is awaiting confirmation of results of its week-long general election. International election observers have indicated that, despite some initial problems, voting was conducted in a fair and credible manner.

"We are very aware of the disagreement that currently exists between the Fiji military commander and the Fiji government. However this is a matter that Fijians themselves need to resolve. New Zealand would not want to take any action that would further complicate that situation," Mr Peters and Mr Goff said.


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