Fiji calls India a special friend and trusted partner

Fiji PM Sitiveni Rabuka said India has stood by us in times of need, has worked shoulder to shoulder to overcome the challenges….reports Asian Lite News

Extending gratitude towards Indian government and Prime Minister Narendra Modi for extending help in the time of need, Fiji Prime Minister Sitiveni Rabuka on Thursday said that India is a special friend and trusted partner of his country.

In a joint statement with Indian External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar here, Rabuka said: “India has stood by us in times of need, has worked shoulder to shoulder to overcome the challenges posed by the climate crisis and the Covid-19 pandemic”

“We are grateful to the Indian government and people of the country for supporting us through provision of life saving vaccines, humanitarian assistance,” Rabuka said.

Rabuka also expressed heartfelt appreciation to Prime Minister Modi and Indian government for their incredible support in co-hosting the 12th World Hindi Conference in Fiji.

Rabuka said: “This is the first high-level visit from Indian government in a almost a decade after Modi visited Fiji in 2014. This visit symbolises friendly relationship and mutual respect we have for one another.”

Jaishankar said: “India and Fiji share close and friendly ties rooted in our historical linkages with such
strong cultural similarities.”

“Thank the government of Fiji for partnering with on the cultural heritage exercise,” Jaishankar added.

Earlier in the day, both the nations signed a pact on visa exemption for domestic and official passport holders facilitating easy access to opportunities for discussion and collaboration at all levels.

In the morning, Jaishankar was given a warm welcome in Parliament of Fiji. The EAM also appreciated Fiji Minister Charan Jeeth Singh’s address in Hindi.

“Glad to meet MPs and witness the Parliament session in Fiji earlier today. Appreciated Minister Charan Jeath Singh’s address in Hindi,” he posted on Twitter.

Jaishankar said that India views Fiji as an important partner in the Indo-Pacific and discussed long-standing ties and ways of intensifying cooperation.

“Exchanged views on areas of priority. We will upgrade our development partnership accordingly,” Jaishankar said.

Jaishankar and Fiji President Wiliame Katonivere jointly launched the ‘Solarisation of the Pacific Heads of State Residences Project’ which is supported by the Indian government and the state house in Suva, Fiji.

“This project reflects India’s strong commitment to climate action, to climate justice,” Jaishankar added.

In a series of tweets, Jaishankar posted: “Visited the Fiji Museum and inaugurated the Girmit gallery there supported by India. The exposition of the story of the Fiji-Indian experience captures the striving of our people who created their own way of life far away from home. Their contribution will always be valued and serve as motivation to work towards stronger India-Fiji relations.”

“Privileged to unveil a bust of Sardar Patel at the India House in Suva, Fiji. His vision of a united, stronger nation remains an inspiration for all Indians,” he posted.

“India’s foreign policy today parallels its domestic outlook. We seek greater fairness and justice, ensure better delivery and promote development of all,” Jaishankar said.

Jaishankar said that he interacted with the Indian diaspora in Fiji and discussed recent developments at home and abroad that open up new vistas of cooperation with Fiji.

Jaishankar is on a three-day visit to Fiji.

India, Fiji sign MoU on visa exemption

India and Fiji on Thursday signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on visa exemption for holders of diplomatic and official passports.

External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar and Fiji’s Prime Minister Sitiveni Rabuka witnessed the MoU exchange. Jaishankar on the occasion said: “I just signed and exchanged the visa waiver agreement. It will be helpful in encouraging greater travel between our two countries.”

Fiji Prime Minister Sitiveni Rabuka called the MoU exchange a landmark achievement and said positive discussions were held today to further advance mutual cooperation in key areas of development notably in health and education.

“On behalf of the government of Fiji, I thank the government of India for realising this important cooperation. I’m confident that we will witness many more such initiatives unfolding through the deepening of our cooperation,” Rabuka said.

As a result of the visa exemption, diplomatic and official passport holders in India and Fiji will now be able to enter, transit through, stay and leave each other’s territories without a visa for a period not exceeding 90 days.

The exemption will allow both countries easier access to opportunities for collaboration, discussions and meetings at all levels.

External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on Thursday, while emphasising on the “close and long-standing ties” shared between India and Fiji through “people to people linkages” said it was a privilege to partner in the nation-building efforts across various sectors in the South Pacific country.

Jaishankar also thanked the Fiji government for partnering with India for the 12th World Hindi Conference. He said the arrangements made by the government were exceptional.

Addressing a joint press statement with the Fiji Prime Minister Sitiveni Ligamamada Rabuka on Thursday, Jaishankar said, “I would like to take this occasion to really publically and sincerely thank the government of Fiji for partnering with us on this very important cultural, heritage exercise we do regularly. The arrangements which were made were truly exceptional.”

The external affairs minister is on an official visit to Fiji from February 15-17 to attend the 12th World Hindi Conference in Nadi.

“India and Fiji have close and long-standing ties and a large part of that is built on our people-to-people linkages. We have been privileged to partner with Fiji in its nation-building efforts across various sectors,” he said.

Fiji Prime Minister Sitiveni Rabuka on Thursday said India stood by his country in times of great need and will always be a special friend and trusted partner.

“I’m pleased to say that India will always be a special friend and trusted partner to Fiji,” the Prime Minister said.

“Together we’ve built a robust multifaceted partnership which covers cooperation in all major areas of nation-building. India has stood by us in times of great need. We’re grateful to GoI for supporting us through the provision of life-saving vaccines and humanitarian assistance,” the Fijian PM said.

He also appreciated PM Modi and the Indian government’s support in co-hosting the 12th World Hindi conference in Fiji. (ANI)

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