13 Apr 2007

Fiji incitement claim denied by US, UK and Australia

4:10 pm on 13 April 2007

International diplomats are denying an alleged attempt to incite a mutiny against Fiji's military commander days before December's military coup.

The Fiji land force commander, Col Pita Driti, says diplomats from Australia, Britain and the United States met him and tried to incite a mutiny against Commodore Frank Bainimarama while the commodore was in New Zealand last year.

A joint statement by the United States embassy and the British and Australian High Commissions says a meeting took place last year, but denied inciting mutiny.

The statement says the meeting was to discuss the ongoing civil-military crisis and to urge the Fiji military forces to not undertake a coup.

It says the diplomats outlined in the meeting the types of sanctions and measures that might be imposed if a coup occurred.