28 Jan 2010

Fiji still pushing Leweni for New Zealand posting

6:46 pm on 28 January 2010

The Fiji and New Zealand governments are still in discussion over the nomination of Lieutenant Colonel Neumi Leweni as Fiji's Counselor to Wellington.

Fiji's permanent secretary for Foreign Affairs, Solo Mara, has told the Fiji Broadcasting Corporation that the two countries' foreign ministers are still discussing the issue.

New Zealand has as yet declined to say whether it has received a request to accept Lieutenant Colonel Leweni who is banned from entering New Zealand as part of Wellington's policy adopted in 2000 sanctioning Fiji coupmakers.

Mr Mara says they will issue a statement on the matter once necessary approvals are obtained.

The two countries agreed this month to seek to improve ties after Fiji expelled New Zealand's top diplomat in November, the third time in two years that Fiji sent home Wellington's top representative in Suva.

The expulsion in November was met by New Zealand sending home Fiji's high commissioner.