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SUVA, Fiji Islands (December 15, 1999 – Fiji’s Daily Post)---Fiji’s defense ties with the United States were re-linked with a high-five yesterday.

This could mean that our soldiers will again have access to military training and international exercises involving American soldiers and naval troops in the near future.

The ties were severed as a result of the 1987 political crisis in Fiji.

The annual defense discussion between the U.S. Defense authorities and the Fiji Military forces were completed yesterday at Nabua in Suva.

The U.S. delegation, which was headed by Lieutenant Colonel Davis, held talks with Fiji military officers, headed by Army commander Commodore Frank Bainimarama at the Queen Elizabeth Barracks Officers Mess in Nabua.

Meanwhile, an advance party of six Fiji officers will be deployed to East Timor either today or tomorrow following a request by Australian authorities.

Four of the officers will be deployed directly to the International Forces in East Timor (INTERFET) headquarters in Dili while two others will be deployed to Darwin, Australia, to establish the administrative cell for the main Fiji contingent.

The main Fiji body will deploy to East Timor sometime early next year.

For additional reports from Fiji’s Daily Post, go to PACIFIC ISLANDS REPORT News/Information Links: Other News Resources/Fiji Live.

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