US deplores Fiji`s decision to expel Australian diplomat

The US has called Fiji`s move to expel Australia’s diplomat as unwarranted.

Updated: Jul 16, 2010, 12:12 PM IST

Washington: The US on Thursday deplored the decision of Fiji`s interim government to expel a top Australian diplomat, saying the act was unwarranted.

"The United States deplores the decision by Fiji`s interim government to expel Australia`s Acting Head of Mission. Fiji`s pattern of expelling diplomats runs contrary to accepted diplomatic practice," State Department spokesman PJ Crowley said.

"This act is unwarranted and harmful to potential dialogue in the Pacific region regarding Fiji`s eventual return to democracy," he said.

"This expulsion, coming just ahead of next month`s Pacific Island Forum meeting chaired by Vanuatu, undermines an opportunity for progress toward reengagement and constructive discussion with Fiji`s neighbours," Crowley said.

Fiji told Australia’s acting high commissioner in Fiji, Sarah Roberts, that she would be declared persona non grata on Tuesday morning and given 24 hours to leave the country.