The island leader made the comment in Port Moresby where he has arrived to attend the 46th Pacific Islands Forum summit in response to New Zealand's decision to suspend its US$760,000 aid to Nauru's justice sector.
“Let me assure you nothing will change,” President Waqa told Islands Business magazine. It’s just New Zealand’s decision to withdraw the support, the funding but Nauru will continue.
“We have made that commitment in our budget, why should we stop just because New Zealand has withdrawn (its aid assistance). Of course we are disappointed. We are a sovereign nation and what New Zealand did even borders on bullying,” he said.
The island President described New Zealand's decision as disappointing. He said the aid suspension was made unilaterally with no warning to his administration. He added there are no plans for him to meet Prime Minister John Key in the margins of this week's Pacific Island Forum Leaders meeting in Port Moresby.
In announcing the aid suspension, Foreign Minister Murray McCully of New Zealand said civil right abuses in Nauru has forced his government to cease it financial assistance. He cited the removal of senior members of theNauru judiciary, the suspension of most of the country's opposition MPs from parliament, restricting freedom of expression and assembly and access to the internet and social media as matters of concerns to his government.
Prime Minister Key and his New Zealand government delegation are expected to arrive in Port Moresby this afternoon, in time for the opening of the 46th summit of Pacific Island Leaders.