19 Oct 2006

Fiji military to provide Forum security

8:00 am on 19 October 2006

Fiji police and military will provide tight security for the 37th Pacific Forum leaders' summit in Nadi next week.

300 police are already on the ground ready for the delegates from throughout the Pacific who start arriving yesterday.

The chief executive of Fiji's foreign affairs ministry, Isikeli Mataitoga, says more than half of the 1-million US dollar budgeted cost of the summit will go towards security.

Of this amount 300,000 US dollars would be provided by Australia, a similar amount by Papua Guinea and smaller amounts by China and New Zealand.

The leaders of all 16 countries attending will be provided with a personal body guard, six police officers and a liaison officer.

But the Australian prime minister, John Howard, has rejected the offer of protection officers from Fiji.

Mr Howard will be bringing his own personal security officers from Australia.