EAM holds bilateral talks with Fijian leadership

New Delhi: External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar, who is on a two-day visit to Fiji to attend the 12th World Hindi Conference, held bilateral meetings with the Fijian leadership, including Prime Minister Sitiveni Rabuka, on Thursday in Suva.
The EAM called on President Ratu Williame Katonivere at the State House and launched along with the Fijian President, the Government of India-funded project for the Solarisation of the Pacific Heads of State Residence at the State House in Suva. The project is the inaugural pilot of the Solar Head of State initiative launched by the Pacific Islands Development Forum (PIDF) in Fiji and funded by India-UN Development Partnership Fund, a statement said.
“Pleased to be call on H.E. Ratu Wiliame Katonivere, President of Fiji in State House in Suva.
“Jointly inaugurated the Solarization of the State House. This is the first of a series that India is supporting in the Pacific Islands.
“Fiji, as a founding member of the @isolaralliance is a strong partner in sustainable development,” the EAM said in a tweet.
He had meetings with Prime Minister Sitiveni Ligamamada Rabuka and senior members of the Fijian cabinet including the three Deputy Prime Ministers, Ministers for Home Affairs, Health, Education, Multi-ethnic Affairs and Sugar. During the bilateral meeting with PM Rabuka, both leaders took stock of the bilateral relations and discussed ways and means to further strengthen the development partnership between India and Fiji in various areas, including capacity building, health, education, agriculture and Information Technology.
“A warm and wide ranging meeting with PM and FM @slrabuka of Fiji in Suva.
“Discussed our long-standing ties and ways of intensifying cooperation. Exchanged views on areas of priority. We will upgrade our development partnership accordingly.
“India views Fiji as an important partner in the Indo-Pacific,” the EAM tweeted.
“Glad to meet MPs and witness the Parliament session in Fiji earlier today. Appreciated Minister Charan Jeath Singh’s address in Hindi,” he posted.
EAM, Ministers of State and MPs attending the 12th Vishwa Hindi Sammelan from February 15-17, being co- hosted by Governments of India and Fiji, also visited the Sri Siva Subramanya Kovil in Nadi.
During his visit to Suva, EAM inaugurated the renovated Girmit Gallery in Fiji Museum, that has been supported by the Government of India under bilateral grant-in-aid. The Gallery showcases the journey of the Girmits (Indian indentured laborers) in Fiji.
“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 our motivation to work towards stronger India-Fiji relations.”
He also unveiled the bust of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel in India House in Suva where he interacted with a large gathering of members of the diaspora community.
“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.”
On his meeting the diaspora, he tweeted: “Interacted with the Indian community in Fiji today.
“Discussed recent developments at home and abroad that open up new vistas for our cooperation with Fiji. India’s foreign policy today parallels its domestic outlook. We seek greater fairness and justice, ensure better delivery and promote development of all.”
A visa waiver agreement was signed today between India and Fiji that would permit diplomatic and official passport holders of the two countries to travel and stay in each other’s country without holding a visa for 90 days.
India and Fiji share close, friendly and long-standing relations with a strong element of development partnership. This year marks the 75 years of the establishment of India’s diplomatic presence in Fiji.
EAM’s visit marks the first high level visit to Fiji since the change of government in December 2022.

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