back to news archives for 18-31 August, 2000
USP Journalism Programme
CHAUDHRY DENIES ACCUSING US GOVERNMENT

USP Journalism Online: http://www.usp.ac.fj/journ/
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SYDNEY: Fiji's elected Prime Minister Mahendra Chaudhry has denied media
reports
that he accused the US government of having an involvement in the May
coup
that led to the ousting of his People's Coalition Government.
Chaudhry said today from London that the Clinton Administration was
supporting the restoration of his government and the 1997 constitution.
"I never said that the US Government was in any way involved in the
coup.
Quite the opposite," he said in a statement issue by his Sydney media
office.
"But I did direct my remarks at some senior US Embassy staff in Suva who
were operating on a personal level over the issue of awarding contracts
for forest harvesting," he said.
"That is something entirely different. It's a long way from talking
about the role of a few individuals in a diplomatic outpost to accusing
the US Government of complicity. The US
Government should not be dragged into this. I said nothing about such
things.
"I see now, that since the original story was published, the US Embassy
has
challenged the accuracy of the media reports on this issue. So do I."
Chaudhry said that if he had something to say about US policy in regards
to Fiji he would discuss it directly with State Department officials
when he
arrived in the United States.
"The fact is that the Clinton Administration and the Secretary of State
Madeleine Albright have supported democracy and worked to rid the world
of
unelected regimes such as the one we now have in Fiji.
"Only recently I received a very warm cable from Mrs Albright outlining
her smart sanctions
against Fiji which include the banning of visits by naval vessels, the
cessation of security training and the banning of those involved in the
coup
from entering the United States.
"Those sanctions speak for themselves."
+++niuswire

Title -- 2937 FIJI: Chaudhry denies accusing US
Date -- 30 August 2000
Byline -- None
Origin -- Pasifik Nius
Source -- Dale Keeling, dkeeling@bigpond.net.au, 30/8/00
Copyright -- DK
Status -- Unabridged
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