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Fiji Time: 4:53 AM on Wednesday 3 September

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Bainimarama links envoys' recall to foreign interference

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Update: 8:15PM ARMY commander Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama has instructed the Foreign Affairs ministry to give 24 hours' notice to Australia and New Zealand to recall their heads of missions in Fiji.

Towards the end of a 6pm press conference today, he said: "We are also proud of our country and our sovereignty and we believe in living in dignity. Therefore, we should ensure that our sovereignty, our Judiciary and key institutions are allowed to function with independence and integrity".

"It is my Government's duty to ensure that no foreign Government should interfere with such judicial independence and integrity. We must always protect and be proud our sovereignty.

"I wish to declare that my Government fully supports the Chief Justice. We will always ensure that his independence and that of his judges remains unassailable.

"It is for these reasons that I have told the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to issue communications to the Australian and New Zealand Governments that their respective heads of missions are to be recalled within 24 hours.

"I have also informed them that our High Commissioner in Australia is to be recalled, with immediate effect."

It's understood that Australian high commissioner to Fiji James Batley is out of the country at present.


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