23 Sep 2009

Vanuatu tightens eligibility for diplomatic passports

7:14 pm on 23 September 2009

Vanuatu's foreign minister, Joe Natuman, has issued letters of termination to more than 40 foreigners who had been made representatives of Vanuatu by previous administrations.

These appointments include honorary consuls, trade commissioners and advisers and people given diplomatic positions at UNESCO and other UN agencies.

Mr Natuman has also cancelled the diplomatic passports issued to these foreign nationals.

He says from next year only citizens of Vanuatu will be entitled to have the country's diplomatic and official passports.

Mr Natuman says a review of the diplomatic and consular service will ensure that future appointment are made in accordance with the foreign service act and other relevant laws.

There have been concerns in Europe over some Vanuatu appointments.