FIJI HAS NEW INDIAN HIGH COMMISSIONER

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SUVA, Fiji Islands (May 24, 1999 – Radio Australia)---The new Indian Ambassador to Fiji, Professor Ishwar Chauhan, has presented his credentials to President Ratu Sir Kamisese Mara, ending a nine-year diplomatic stand-off between the two countries.

India withdrew its last ambassador in 1990, in protest over the treatment of Fiji Indians by the then indigenous Fijian government.

However, a new High Commissioner now has been appointed, following a request by the outgoing Fiji government of Prime Minister Sitiveni Rabuka, and this month’s national elections which saw the election of Indo-Fijian Prime Minister Mahendra Chaudhry.

Professor Chauhan has links with Fiji going back to the mid-1960s, and says he regards Fiji as his "second home."

He said his goal is to work cooperatively with all Fijians and to strengthen the two countries' relationships.

"My role here will be to bring India and Fiji together," he said.

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