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Peters regrets Fiji military statements

Rt Hon Winston Peters
Minister of Foreign Affairs

17 October 2006
Media statement

Peters regrets Fiji military statements

Foreign Minister Winston Peters today said he was disappointed by comments from Fiji's military commander, Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama, calling on the Fiji government to "resign or else."

"New Zealand is very concerned about the Commander's threats that he will overthrow the legitimate government in Suva if it does not do what he says," Mr Peters said.

Commodore Bainimarama is reported to have presented an ultimatum to the Fiji government, giving it three weeks to drop particular policies to which be objects, or to resign.

"The New Zealand government’s position on the role of the military is well known. It does not have any political role in a democratically elected government," Mr Peters said.

"As a close friend and neighbour of Fiji, New Zealand is particularly concerned about the damage being posed to Fiji’s international image and standing by such statements.

"It has been encouraging to see all parties working together in a multi-party government since the Fiji general elections in May," Mr Peters said.


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