WikiLeaks cable: NZ's reaction to political tensions in Fiji

Photo / Mark Mitchell
Photo / Mark Mitchell

November 1, 2006
New Zealand's reaction to political tensions in Fiji

date:2006-11-01T04:11:00
source:Embassy Wellington
origin:06WELLINGTON851
destination:VZCZCXRO5861 PP RUEHPB DE RUEHWL #0851 3050411 ZNY CCCCC
ZZH P 010411Z NOV 06 FM AMEMBASSY WELLINGTON TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC
PRIORITY 3435 INFO RUEHBY/AMEMBASSY CANBERRA PRIORITY 4589 RHHMUNA/CDR
USPACOM HONOLULU HI PRIORITY RHMFITT/HQ USCENTCOM MACDILL AFB FL
PRIORITY RHHJJAA/JICPAC HONOLULU HI PRIORITY RUEHGB/AMEMBASSY BAGHDAD
PRIORITY 0016 RUEHPB/AMEMBASSY PORT MORESBY PRIORITY 0607
RUEHSV/AMEMBASSY SUVA 0527
classification:CONFIDENTIAL
reference:
?C O N F I D E N T I A L WELLINGTON 000851

SIPDIS

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STATE PASS TO EAP/ANP

E.O. 12958: DECL: 11/01/2016

TAGS: PGOV, PREL, MARR...

?C O N F I D E N T I A L WELLINGTON 000851

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STATE PASS TO EAP/ANP E.O. 12958: DECL: 11/01/2016
TAGS: PGOV, PREL, MARR, CASC, ASEC, FJ, NZ
SUBJECT: NEW ZEALAND'S REACTION TO POLITICAL TENSIONS IN FIJI

Classified by DCM David J. Keegan. Reasons 1.4 (b) and (d).

1. (C) In discussions November 1 regarding political tensions in Fiji with Heather Riddell, Director of Pacific Division at Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT), Post learned that GNZ will shortly be issuing a formal statement declaring that Fiji's military commander Bainimarama is obliged to abide by his constitutional obligations to the democratically elected government of Fiji.

2. (C) The Chief of New Zealand's Defense Force will also be calling Bainimarama directly and exhorting him not to take any action which would undermine the Fijian constitution. The New Zealand High Commissioner in Suva will also be calling on Fiji's Vice President to express support for the government and relay the warning they have expressed to Commander Bainimarama. MFAT is reviewing their travel advisory for New Zealanders in Fiji to take into account possible emergency action procedures.

3. (C) New Zealand Foreign Minister Winston Peters separately told the Ambassador that the New Zealand Government had concluded that many Fijians shared Bainimarama's frustration with the amnesty for those involved in the previous coup. Nonetheless, his actions were completely contrary to acceptable democratic practice and must be stopped. GNZ had decided that the Chief of Defense Force would be the one to call Bainimarama because he would be far more likely to listen seriously to a military colleague than a foreign government official. Peters added that New Zealand and Australia are absolutely of one mind in their approach to Fiji.

McCormick

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