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September 20, 2012 12:00:00 AM
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Minister for Defence, National Security and Immigration, Joketani Cokanasiga is currently visiting Iraq as part of government’s exercise to assess Fiji’s international peacekeeping role.

Cokanasiga arrived in Baghdad, Iraq after visiting and holding meetings in New York with the United Nations Secretariat discussing critical issues for peacekeeping both for the military and police.  

Fiji’s 1FIR makes up the United Nations Guard Unit (UNGU) which provides the security for the United Nations Assistance Mission in Iraq (UNAMI). 278 Fijian personnel serve under UNGU.

Cokanasiga also had fruitful discussions with ministries of Foreign Affairs, Defence, and Interior of the Government of Iraq.

According to a government statement, Cokanasiga addressed issues relating to the welfare and deployment of Fiji’s UNGU contingent and other pertinent issues relating to rotation of troops and visas for military personnel.

While in New York last week, the Minister and his delegation met with the Under-Secretary-Generals of the various UN Secretariat departments responsible for administering UNAMI.  

In the course of these meetings, the Minister’s delegation was able to gain updates on the UN’s ongoing peacekeeping demands, and to assess Fiji’s current and future contributions to the UN’s Military and Police peacekeeping duties.

The Minister’s delegation returns next week.
By Ropate Valemei


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