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Deposed Fiji premier to visit India on August 17

Last Updated: Sunday, August 6, 2000 - 00:00

Deposed Fiji Prime Minister Mahendra Chaudhry, who was released last month after being held hostage for eight weeks by rebel leader George Speight, is visiting India on August 17, Prime Minister Atal Bihari vajpayee said on Sunday.

"We will give him a hearty welcome," Vajpayee said at a function to mark Sant Shiromani Goswami Tulsidas Jayanti in New Delhi.

India had greeted with a sense of relief the decision of Fiji's great council of chiefs to release Chaudhry and his cabinet colleagues from detention in Fiji's Parliament building where they were held hostage since May 19.

Stating that injustice had been done to Fijian Indians for years, he said that India had been instrumental in mobilising international pressure to restore a democratic government in Suva.

In an apparent reference to Speight, Vajpayee said that the ''criminal'', who had triggered a crisis situation in Fiji, was now now behind bars.

Report: Zeenext Bureau

First Published: Sunday, August 6, 2000 - 00:00
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