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Australian PM gravely concerns of Fiji expulsion of diplomat

07-13-2010 11:33 BJT

CANBERRA, July 13 (Xinhua) -- Fiji's expulsion of Australia's top diplomat has been uncalled for and of grave concern, Prime Minister Julia Gillard said on Tuesday.

Tense relations between Australia and Fiji's military government deteriorated further on Tuesday as Fiji announced it would expel Sarah Roberts, Australia's acting high commissioner.

Roberts' expulsion, which takes effect on Tuesday, came after Canberra lobbied for the postponement of a meeting of the Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG) in Fiji at the end of July.

"Obviously our attitude to this is we are gravely concerned that Fiji continues to take itself beyond and outside the workings of the international community," Gillard told reporters in Canberra.

"We will be making very, very clear to Fiji our protest about this unreasonable and uncalled-for action."

Fiji's prime minister Frank Bainimarama seized power in a 2006 coup, and has deferred elections and sacked judges.

Australia has criticized the lack of progress towards democracy and media freedom leading to a deterioration in the bilateral relationship.

Editor:Jin Lin |Source: Xinhua

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