EMBASSY OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

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Suva, Fiji Islands

News Release

Saturday, July 8, 2000

Ambassador Osman Siddique was today recalled to the United States for consultations with the United States government regarding the crisis in Fiji.

The United States continues to be deeply concerned about the current situation in Fiji.

We deplore both hostage taking and efforts to deny political rights to citizens of Fiji.

The appointment of an un-elected government by the military, even if composed of civilians, clearly does not represent a return to lawful, constitutional government.

We note the absence of any Indo-Fijians or women in the interim administration.

We have stated that upholding basic principles of democracy and international standards of human rights, as embodied in Fiji’s 1997 constitution, would be a benchmark for determining our reaction to the crisis in Fiji.

We are now considering a range of steps in consultation with other nations that could have a serious impact on Fiji.

Deputy Chief of Mission Ron McMullen will serve as Charge until Ambassador Siddique returns to Fiji.

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