Vanuatu ‘Ambassador,’ Yacht Owner Denounced

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Vanuatu ‘Ambassador,’ Yacht Owner Denounced Foreign minister to file defamation suit against PM’s secretary

By Ricky Binihi

PORT VILA, Vanuatu (Vanuatu Daily Post, Oct. 1, 2012) – Allegations made by Vanuatu’s Prime Minister’s Office that Foreign Affairs Minister Alfred Carlot appointed Phocea owner Anh Quan Saken as ambassador to Peru and the United States of America are "totally rubbish."

And the Minister has instructed the Vanuatu Police Commissioner to investigate the First Secretary of the Prime Minister’s office Mr. Richard Kaltongga on charges of defamation.

In a press statement to the media outlets this week Mr. Kaltongga said Minister Carlot made serious allegations against Prime Minister Sato Kilman and Opposition Leader Serge Vohor that they sold Vanuatu Passports but did not substantiate the claims.

Mr. Kaltongga said the Prime Minister had during an earlier meeting of Council of Ministers in which the Foreign Affairs Minister was present, delivered a clear directive to all ministers that no more diplomatic appointments would be made or diplomatic passports issued to private individuals unless such person’s appointment had been approved by the Council.

"The Prime Minister’s Office is aware that Pascal Saken had received approval from the Council of Ministers for his appointments as Honorary Consul to Vietnam however in accordance with diplomatic protocols, that appointment is not valid unless his name has been approved and confirmed by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Vietnam which to date has not been received.

"The Prime Minister’s Office is also aware that Minister Carlot has granted further diplomatic appointments to Mr. Pascal Saken which have not received any consideration, endorsement or approval from the Council of Ministers as well as making some Trade Commission appointments which are usually the responsibly of the Minister of Trade," Kaltongga alleged in his statement.

And Mr. Kaltongga produced documents alleging the Foreign Affairs Minister appointed Saken as Ambassador-at-large in Peru, Ambassador-at-large- South America and Peru, Ambassador-at-large USA, Vanuatu Commissioner of Trade, Business Development and Culture for South America Colombia and Peru, and Vanuatu Commissioner of Trade, Business Development and Culture for Central America and Panama.

"This is the first time I have seen these documents," was the response the Daily Post received from Minister Carlot when he was asked in his office if he could confirm the alleged appointments.

Daily Post understands the Department of Foreign Affairs officials have verified the documents and found them to be forgery as the appointments were not made on Foreign Affairs letter heads.

The question now asked by everyone is how the First Secretary of the Prime Minister could have access to the forged documents.

Meanwhile Minister Carlot has confirmed to the Daily Post that he recommended that businesswoman Madame Ti Tam Goiset be removed as Vanuatu’s Roving Ambassador to Russia but the Prime Minister’s Office insisted she remained.

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