AUSTRALIA WELCOMES RELEASE OF FIJIAN SOLDIERS

STATEMENT FROM HON JULIE BISHOP, AUSTRALIAN MINISTER FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS

Australia welcomes the unconditional release of 45 Fijian peacekeepers detained since 28 August.

The peacekeepers had been serving with the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF) in the Golan Heights.

I commend the courage and bravery of the peacekeepers and the strong support shown bytheir families and friends in Fiji during this difficult time.

I also commend the Fiji Government for its resolute commitment to ensuring the release of its soldiers and for its handling of the situation.

I acknowledge the efforts of Fijian Foreign Minister Inoke Kubuabola who travelled to the Middle East to secure their release.

Australia was pleased to provide assistance and support to Fiji including through our global intelligence network.