U.S to maintain sanctions on Fiji

Lance Polu

, World

05 DECEMBER 20008 SUVA (Pacnews)
The new United States ambassador to Fiji says his country’s sanctions on the interim regime will not be lifted, reports Radio Australia.

Ambassador Steven McGann, who took up the position in October, said the US has made it clear it stands with the Pacific Island Forum to encourage Fiji to hold elections in 2009.

The interim government, under coup leader Frank Bainimarama, said sanctions including travel bans are counter-productive.

Ambassador McGann said  by law, the US will not lift the sanctions until Fiji makes the first step.

“Many people do not understand that the sanctions that we have imposed against Fiji aren’t just a matter of policy but it’s also a matter of US law,” he said.

“Everyone should understand that the United States will not lift the sanctions against Fiji until Fiji has returned to democracy.”….PNS (ENDS)