Australian Minister for Foreign Affairs, Alexander Downer
FA51 20 May, 2000
This morning I spoke by telephone to the President of Fiji, Ratu Sir Kamisese Mara, about the developing situation in
Suva in which the Fijian Prime Minister and members of his government have been unlawfully detained at gunpoint in the
Ratu Mara said he was pursuing a strategy to resolve the crisis peacefully. I offered any reasonable and practical
support that Australia could provide to him.
The President assured me that the Fiji Military Forces and the police are giving him full support in the current state
I restated the Australian Government's backing for the President and the elected government of Prime Minister Mahendra
Chaudhry, elected under the recently established Constitution.
The President expressed his gratitude for Australia's support.
It is imperative that legitimate democratic government in Fiji is not disrupted, and I call on the elements that have
taken action against Mr Chaudhry's government to lay down their weapons, release those detained, and resolve the
situation without bloodshed.