Tuesday, December 7, 2010

US Defends Non-issuance of Visa for Fiji Officials

Fiji Times - 08 December 2010

The US Embassy says early visa applications need to be made for those individuals identified as key supporters of the December 2006 coup.

In a statement issued today – in response to the non-issuance of entry visas to the US for 3 Fiji government officials – the Embassy says names of key supporters of the coup have been entered on the Department of State visa watch list.

The Embassy says their applications require Washington clearances prior to visa issuance - where they undergo a rigorous review and processing time may take up to three weeks.

Fiji’s Chief Justice Anthony Gates, Fiji’s Permanent Secretary of Fisheries and Forestry Commander Viliame Naupoto and Fiji’s Local Government Minister Colonel Samuela Saumatua were recently denied visas to the US.

The Embassy says while the US takes seriously its obligations under the UN Charter to facilitate travel to the UN headquarters in New York for participation in meetings – they are not obliged to facilitate travel to meetings that do not fall under the Charter or transit to UN meetings outside of New York.

The Embassy is encouraging early visa application for those seeking to travel to the US for the purpose of attending the General Assembly or other meetings of the UN.

Report by : Elenoa Osborne

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