21 May 2008

Australia and Fiji at odds over diplomatic security

9:37 am on 21 May 2008

Australia and Fiji are at odds over the safety of diplomats and their families in Suva following death threats against Australia's high commissioner.

Canberra is offering to repatriate Australian diplomatic families in Fiji's capital amid concerns for their safety and a stand-off over security.

The offer is likely to involve around 50 dependants of diplomats and other staff based at the High Commission.

Australian Foreign Minister Stephen Smith says the federal government has decided to take action after the Fiji government continued to ignore Australian requests for extra security.

Fiji's interim Foreign Minister Ratu Epeli Nailatikau says the repatriation is unnecessary and regrettable.

And he denied Fiji authorities were failing to offering adequate protection for Mr Batley and his staff.