India a special friend and trusted partner: Fiji PM

Nadi, Feb 16 (IANS) 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.

- Advertisement -