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KIRIBATI PRESIDENT ALONE, UNFAZED AS FIJI SUPPORTER

AUCKLAND, New Zealand (The Kiribati Independent, Sept. 7, 2011) – It doesn’t matter how much aid New Zealand pours into Kiribati because it’s not going to change Kiribati’s stance on Fiji. [PIR editor's report: Recently, New Zealand provided a US$23 million aid package to Kiribati to develop its fishing industry and bring economic and employment benefits to the country.] “Let me ask you this question: One of your sons becomes a troublemaker, would you kick him out from your family? You need to work with him, listen to him, not to cut him loose,” said President Anote Tong in an exclusive interview with The Kiribati Independent. “New Zealand and Australia have failed to demonstrate this fatherly role in Fiji’s case. It just won’t work for me. They are leaders and as small island countries we look up to them for leadership. Their leadership is questionable.” Yesterday, Prime Minister John Key explained his government’s projects for Kiribati and also expressed support for the country’s fight for climate change. John Key told The Kiribati Independent that he was comfortable with Kiribati’s position on Fiji. [Tong said:] “I am alone on my position on Fiji, but no government can ever tell me what I should do,” he said. Asked what he thinks about Samoa’s sentiments on Fiji, he said: “it’s not right.

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