16 Apr 2007

Academic says few advantages for Fiji in tit for tat diplomacy

7:23 pm on 16 April 2007

An Australian based political scientist says the Fiji's interim administration's decision to downgrade the American Embassy's security measures is a case of 'tit for tat' diplomacy.

The Interim prime minister commodore Frank Bainimarama ordered the security barriers surrounding the American Embassy on Loftus Street in Suva to be removed, saying the barriers denied taxpayers their right to free and unrestricted access of the street.

Research fellow with the Australia National University, Doctor Jon Fraenkel, says while it's inconvenient for the public to have the security provisions in such a central part of Suva, it's also a bad move by the Fiji government to provoke any of the major foreign missions.

"In the wake of the December coup the attempts to legitimise the new interim government rest on persuading all of the major international powers that the government has some way back to democracy and therefore antagonising any one of the major foreign embassies or high commissions is probably not the best idea."