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WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, Dec. 1) – A potential trade war is reportedly looming between Fiji and Vanuatu after Vanuatu imposed a ban on the import of biscuits from Fiji.

Fiji TV reports that Fiji’s ministry of foreign affairs has given a 14-day ultimatum to Vanuatu to explain its actions or face retaliatory action.

A strongly worded diplomatic note says unless Vanuatu comes to the negotiating table, Fiji will be forced to take similar action.

The Vanuatu ban is in breach of the free trade agreement between countries of the Melanesia Spearhead Group.

The chief executive officer of the foreign ministry, Isikeli Mataitoga, says the government has to ensure that multi-lateral agreements signed by countries are honored.

Already there are suggestions in Fiji that the country should ban the import of Vanuatu kava.

December 2, 2004

Radio New Zealand International:



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