6 Dec 2006

Fiji's new military regime costs the country more aid support

9:36 am on 6 December 2006

The European Union has warned Fiji of the consequences of the coup on development aid.

EU assistance to Fiji is worth about 200 million US dollars a year.

From London, Ben Lowings reports:

"The European Commission's director general for development, Stefano Manservisi, says he's increasingly worried by the situation in Fiji. Mr Manservisi says a breach in the rule of law in Fiji would mean the European Union has to suspend development assistance. Mr Manservisi says Commodore Bainimarama knows those rules, and he is well aware of the value of EU development assistance. The director-general says the EU does not want to interfere in the internal affairs of Fiji, and dialogue is the best strategy. Mr Manservisi is closely following the events in Fiji and has talked with the New Zealand Ambassador in Brussels about what to do next."

The United States and Britain have both suspended aid to Fiji because of the military takeover.

The US State Department spokesman Sean McCormack says the US will review whether aid will be cut off.

He says at this point, because the situation is fluid, the US regards it as a coup attempt, rather than something irreversible.

And a spokesperson for the British Prime Minister, Tony Blair, says he has condemned the actions of Fiji's military.

He says the government is discussing further measures with its international and Commonwealth partners, and will urge all parties to recognise the sovereign authority of the elected government.