3 Oct 2007

Fiji's ambassador designate to Malaysia claims political meddling by New Zealand

11:15 am on 3 October 2007

The former Fiji Land Force commander, Col Pita Driti, is blaming the New Zealand prime minister, Helen Clark, for the delay in his taking up his diplomatic appointment as ambassador designate to Malaysia.

Col Driti was appointed to the post two months ago and underwent orientation training with the ministry of foreign affairs.

But there has been no word since then on whether the Malaysian government would approve his appointment.

Col Driti has told the Fiji Times that Helen Clark was in Malaysia and she may have applied pressure on the Malaysian government to turn down the appointment.

The interim foreign minister, Ratu Epeli Nailatikau, says the delay could be due to Ramadan celebrations in Malaysia which is a Muslim country.

The Malaysian high commission in Suva has not commented.