US reaffirms it’s stand for Fiji
The US Government has taken the first step to reaffirm its stand that yesterday’s ruling will not make much difference to its stance, and that is for Fiji to return to democratic rule as soon as possible.
The Bush Administration says aid suspension to Fiji will remain despite yesterdays ruling.
The suspension of certain US assistance to the Fiji government under section 508 of the foreign operations appropriations act will remain in place, until the President or Secretary of State determines that Fiji has made measurable progress toward the restoration of democratic rule, it said in a statement.
The statement says the decision by the High Court yesterday will not affect our bilateral relationship.
It says the US government will continue to have diplomatic relations with Fiji, but enhanced engagement will only be possible when a democratically elected government is restored.
Referring to yesterdays ruling that neighbouring states have imposed travel bans on persons wishing to assist the president on the ground that their actions would bolster an illegal regime, and that such action would not have assisted the president in obtaining a broad cross section of persons from Fiji public life so as to forge a way out of the crisis, the American government said its position on Fiji would remain unchanged.
The statement further says since the December 2006 coup in Fiji they have continued to strongly urge the interim government to take immediate steps to restore full civil liberties and the rule of law based on democratic principles, and to hold free and fair elections.