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UK Holds Aid To Fiji Issue

No: 218; 23 November 2000

The UK has put on hold all development aid projects in Fiji, says the British High Commissioner to Fiji, Sir Michael Price.

Sire Michael was quoted in this evening's Radio Fiji news as saying that they were waiting to see "what progress is made" in Fiji towards democracy "over the next month".

When asked about the British relation with the Qarase regime, Sir Michael stated that the UK position was in line with the position of its Commonwealth partners. He stated that basically Britain wanted a "return to inclusive democratic government as soon as possible within a constitution which safeguards the rights of all people of Fiji".

Meanwhile the regime shows no figure for British aid in its budget for 2001 released yesterday. In total there is a token provision of $1m as grant in aid comprising $0.8m from the European Union, $100,000 from the UNDP and $100,000 from other sources. The Australian and NZ rows against grant-in-aid show no aid with the explanation that these are token provisions.

END 23 November 2000

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