Fiji troops out of mis­sion

Townsville Bulletin - - Front Page -

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.

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