FIJI JOINS U.S. AGAINST WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION

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New member of proliferation
initiative

SUVA, Fiji (Fijilive, June 3, 2008) – Fiji is the newest member of the Proliferation Security Initiative (PSI), an initiative aimed at combating weapons of mass destruction, the Fiji Embassy in Washington confirms.

Representatives of the island nation’s mission in Washington revealed that Fiji was welcomed at the PSI’s international meeting held in Washington DC earlier this week.

A statement from the Embassy today confirmed Fiji’s membership and that it was represented at the meeting by the Embassy’s Charge d’affaires in Washington, Peni Lomaloma.

Cabinet (Fiji) had endorsed Fiji’s participation in the PSI on May 6 this year.

Interim Foreign Affairs Minister Ratu Epeli Nailatikau submitted to Cabinet then that Fiji’s participation in the PSI demonstrated its international commitment to prevent explosion of weapons of mass destruction.

He had said the participation would also enable Fiji to work with other governments towards this goal.

"Fiji’s involvement in information sharing and PSI exercises will enhance domestic interagency coordination (foreign affairs, defence and customs) for non-proliferation matters, and builds domestic capacity for non-proliferation activities," Ratu Epeli said.

"PSI exercises will provide an opportunity to test Fiji’s operational, policy and legal frameworks governing PSI activities in advance of such situations arising," he added.

Ratu Epeli had also submitted that through its involvement, Fiji would gain a better understanding of the international law governing PSI-related activities and could work with other governments to ensure that PSI remained consistent with international law.

Ninety-one PSI participating states met in Washington, DC on Wednesday to mark the fifth anniversary of the PSI.

The statement from the Embassy said the PSI participating states assessed the PSI and discussed new ideas for strengthening international cooperation to stop weapons of mass destruction proliferation.

Fijilive: http://www.fijilive.com

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