21 Jan 2010

Fiji awaits NZ response to diplomat nomination

3:13 pm on 21 January 2010

Fiji's interim prime minister, Commodore Frank Bainimarama, says a name has been submitted to New Zealand for the counsellor's post at the Fiji High Commission in Wellington.

His office has told the Fijivillage website that the nominee is the Permanent Secretary for Information and Military Spokesperson, Lieutenant Colonel Neumi Leweni, who in turn says his nomination is yet to be confirmed by Fiji's Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Lieutenant Colonel Leweni is on the list of people banned from New Zealand for his role in the 2006 coup.

Commodore Bainimarama has told Auckland's Radio Tarana the ball is now in Wellington's court.

"We are awaiting the New Zealand government's response. As I have mentioned last week, we are extremely please that the New Zealand government is taking a step forward in redeeming our diplomatic relations. We are looking forward to progressing our discussions, especially to see the removal of all sanctions on Fiji. We have submitted our nominee for the position for counsellor as agreed to in our initial meeting between our two foreign ministers. New Zealand is yet to respond on this."

Commodore Frank Bainimarama.