Fiji Military ‘In The Dark’ About Military Ties With Australia

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Fiji Military ‘In The Dark’ About Military Ties With Australia Government hasn’t informed RFMF of restoration of ties

By Luke Rawalai

SUVA, Fiji (Fiji Times, Oct. 9, 2014) – The Republic of Fiji Military Forces (RFMF) is still in the dark about the restoration of military ties between Fiji and Australia.

Responding to questions sent by this newspaper about the situation, RFMF spokesman Joseva Bola in a statement said they had not received any correspondence by the Fiji Government to confirm the restoration of its military ties with the Australian Government.

"The restoration of defence ties between the two countries will be dictated by the Government of Fiji to the RFMF through its foreign policy," he said.

"However, the RFMF has already established ties with other militaries which it highly values."

This newspaper earlier highlighted the Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop's confirmation in an email that the only remaining restrictions in place against Fiji were defence exports and military co-operation.

"I have said previously that Australia would move to restore a full and extensive Defence Co-operation Program with Fiji following election, and these steps are already underway," she said.

"Even though these restrictions remained in place up to the election, I have personally endorsed any request for assistance to the RFMF received since February.

"I have also proactively ensured that Fiji was provided with Australian intelligence and other co-operation in the international efforts to secure the release of the 45 Fijian UNDOF personnel who were captured in the Golan Heights."

Ms Bishop had also said a post-election visit would continue the positive momentum in bilateral relations.

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