2 Apr 2012

Tuvalu denies financial benefits motivated relations with Armenia

6:36 pm on 2 April 2012

The permanent secretary of Foreign Affairs in Tuvalu says the government's decision to establish diplomatic links with Armenia has nothing to do with reaping financial reward.

When Tuvalu's permanent representative to the United Nations signed a joint statement with his Armenian counterpart on setting up diplomatic relations last month it prompted criticism from some countries, including Azerbaijan.

Since 1992 Armenia has occupied Azerbaijan's Nagorno-Karabakh region and it's been claimed that Armenia has established links with Tuvalu to help it gain recognition over the occupied area, in exhange for financial support.

But Tuvalu's permanent secretary of Foreign Affairs Tapugao Falefou says there have been no financial pledges.

"Not that I know of, there is no financial support that we have received from Armenia and there was no financial support that has been pledged by Armenia as far as I am aware."

Tapugao Falefou says Armenia is simply one of a number of countries Tuvalu has approached as part its policy to build up diplomatic relations.