4 Jul 2003

Fiji still working with US on ICC exemption deal

3:44 pm on 4 July 2003

Fiji is still negotiating a treaty with the US not to surrender its citizens to the International Criminal Court.

Radio Fiji reports that this has been clarified by the foreign minister, Kaliopate Tavola, following Fiji's listing among 35 countries which had not signed such an agreement by the July the 1st deadline.

But Mr Tavola says negotiations are still continuing.

The US was required by its law to suspend military aid to all countries which did not sign the agreement to protect US citizens from the ICC by the July the 1st deadline.

Radio Fiji says Fiji is likely to sign the treaty because this could determine whether Fijian troops go on a peacekeeping mission to Iraq.

Tonga, Tuvalu and Nauru have already signed such deals with the US.