Fiji’s coalition partner the National Federation Party (NFP) has written to the Prime Minister Sitiveni Rabuka expressing its concerns on Fiji’s vote at the United Nations Emergency Session on a resolution calling for a truce and to allow for humanitarian aid into the Gaza Strip.

NFP General-Secretary, Kamal Iyer said the party believes Fiji’s reputation as a regional leader has been dented by its vote against the resolution brought forward by the Jordanians.

Iyer said NFP has the right to disagree on issues and policies of the Coalition Government, which in its view hurt our reputation as a nation.

He said this is against the objectives and principles of the Party.

“We know and understand that we are part of the Coalition government and the principles of collective Cabinet and Parliamentary responsibility.”

“But this should not in any way prevent us from speaking out on issues as a political party, especially those that are contrary to our long held views on human rights, and humanitarianism.”

“We strongly disagree with Fiji’s stance in the UN on this issue that has spiralled out of control and is resulting in the killing of civilians and children. Fiji also had the option of abstaining, but it did not.”

“Any nation has the right to defend itself against terrorism. Israel is no exception. But it must not result in inhumane treatment by both Israel and Hamas civilians and children or denial of essential supplies like food, water and medicine.”

Iyer said their stance on the matter is in no way undermining the Coalition Government or its leadership team.

He added that the Party Leader and Deputy Prime Minister Professor Biman Prasad has also written to both Coalition leaders Manoa Kamikamica and Viliame Gavoka, on the matter.

Prime Minister Sitiveni Rabuka’s posed the question “who stirred the hornets’ nest?” when asked why Fiji voted against the United Nations resolution calling for a cease-fire in the Israel-Hamas war so that humanitarian supplies can be delivered to residents in Gaza.

Rabuka didn’t comment further on this issue.

Meanwhile, the Fiji Government has announced its withdrawal from being a party to the Joint Statement on Human Rights Violation in Xinjiang which China issued earlier this month.

The Government in a statement said that Fiji has reaffirmed its unwavering commitment to building enduring cooperation on the principles of mutual respect for sovereignty and “non-interference” with the domestic affairs of diplomatic partners.

“Fiji attaches great value on its bilateral relations with the People’s Republic of China and based on its policy of non-interference has withdrawn Fiji’s vote.”

“Fiji avails itself of this opportunity to renew to the Government of the People’s Republic of China the assurances of its highest consideration and its commitment to the relationship between the two countries,” the statement said.