Political decision | Tikoduadua denies Voreqe’s claim over Israel support

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Home Affairs Minister Pio Tikoduadua. Picture: SOPHIE RALULU

Fiji’s show of support for Israel at the World Court does not diminish the capability of her peacekeepers, says Home Affairs Minister Pio Tikoduadua.

He said this in response to a statement by former prime minister Voreqe Bainimarama, who labelled the Coalition Government’s actions as a betrayal of Fiji’s legacy as neutral peacekeepers.

Mr Tikoduadua said as far as he was concerned, Fiji had very professional people serving in peacekeeping roles.

“This is a political decision. Obviously, political decisions have ramifications, and there are diplomatic processes to fix them,” he said.

“I don’t think it diminishes the capability of our professional people as peacekeepers. Yesterday (Wednesday), the Prime Minister’s office made a release to give some context into what happened.

“The important thing to note is that this submission going on at the ICJ is based on a UN resolution in 2022. So, all the nations of the world are called to make submissions, unfortunately, in between, the events in Gaza have happened.

“And that has shaped public opinion a lot in terms of human rights and all that, which is very important.

Mr Tikoduadua maintained that human rights were very important to Fiji’s leaders.

However, he said rule of law, international based order and politics were the driving factors behind this.

“But it does not lessen our commitment in terms of what Fiji stands for throughout the world in terms of looking after people and human rights. We’ve been doing peacekeeping now for God knows how many years … 50 year. That’s the true colour of Fiji. We are people with big hearts. It’s the measure of the Fijian people.”

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