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Kalouniwai: Fiji soldiers not affected

Aqela Susu
Wednesday, December 13, 2017

FIJIAN soldiers on deployment in the Middle East for peacekeeping duties will not be affected by Fiji's decision to vote against recognising Jerusalem as the capital city of Israel.

Republic of Fiji Military Forces (RFMF) chief of staff Colonel Jone Kalouniwai confirmed this yesterday but said Fijian soldiers who were to go for holiday in Jerusalem could face some security risks.

Fiji was among the 151 countries who voted to disavow Israeli ties to Jerusalem earlier this month at the United Nations General Assembly.

"Only if they're going to go on leave to Jerusalem, then there'll be a security concern, but that will be dealt with by the organisation they're working with," Col Kalouniwai said.

"Most of our soldiers are working in Arab countries in Lebanon, Syria and Iraq and it would've only been a concern if it was otherwise."

Fiji's neighbouring countries Papua New Guinea and Australia were among the nine countries who abstained from voting while the United States, Nauru, Marshall Islands and three others were among the six countries who voted against the move to disavow Israeli ties from Jerusalem.

In an earlier interview with this newspaper, US Ambassador to Fiji Judith Cefkin said US President Donald Trump's announcement to formally recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel was nothing new.

She said President Trump was rather enacting a law that had existed for about two decades.








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