Fiji troops out of mission
AUSTRALIA will freeze Fiji out of the military rescue mission in the Solomon Islands to demonstrate its displeasure at the military coup, Prime Minister John Howard says.
Mr Howard said it was important the Fijian military did not get off scotfree.
‘‘This is a consequence of Fijian military overthrowing a lawfully elected government,’’ he said.
‘‘The military regime in Fiji must understand that there are consequences for what it did and unless the world, and in particular the close friends and partners like Australia, demonstrate their displeasure then their regime will imagine that it’s been a costless exercise.’’
The Federal Government will next Monday suspend all funding for Fiji’s military involvement in the Regional Assistance Mission to the Solomon Islands (RAMSI), TheAustralianreported yesterday. It means Fiji will not be able to take the lead role in RAMSI from next March as was scheduled under the rotation system for the five nations that contribute troops.