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Fiji to expel New Zealand ambassador

Fiji's military regime is expelling New Zealand's top envoy in a "grave act", which will have serious consequences

world Updated: Jun 14, 2007 09:28 IST

Fiji's military regime has decided to expel New Zealand's top envoy in a "grave act", which will have serious consequences, New Zealand Foreign Minister Winston Peters said on Thursday.

The government of military leader Voreqe Bainimarama, who overthrew the elected government in a December coup, has declared New Zealand's high commissioner (ambassador) Michael Green "persona non grata," Peters said.

"The New Zealand government deplores this action. Expelling diplomats is not the way for neighbours to conduct their relationship," Peters said.

"Declaring a high commissioner persona non grata is a very grave act for any country to take. It is just one step below breaking relations.

"There will undoubtedly be consequences for Fiji, as this action will be viewed very seriously not only by us, but by Fiji's other international partners including Pacific Island nations, Australia, the United States, and the European Union."

Peters said he was unaware of any activities by Green which would justify his expulsion.

Green had drawn attention to New Zealand's policy in the wake of the coup, which was the role of a diplomat, he said.

ht epaper

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