Wednesday, April 24, 2024
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Rabuka is an influential regional leader: Hipkins

New Zealand Prime Minister Chris Hipkins says Fiji and New Zealand have a long-standing relationship based on close cooperation in areas of mutual interest.

In a statement, Hipkins said while we were together in Papua New Guinea recently, it was clear Prime Minister Rabuka is highly respected and influential not just in Fiji, but also across the wider Pacific region.

Rabuka began his official visit to New Zealand yesterday.

Hipkins said that: “I am looking forward to building on our discussions there, and reaffirming New Zealand’s support as a trusted friend and bilateral partner to Fiji.”

“Our countries share a strong focus on Pacific regionalism, including upholding Pacific Islands Forum unity; resuming financial support for the University of the South Pacific; and working with other traditional partners, such as Australia, on defence and security matters.

“We’re also cooperating closely to address climate change and its impacts. Both New Zealand and Fiji are not strangers to the devastating impacts of climate change, and I again want to thank Fiji for their support in our response to Cyclone Gabrielle,” Hipkins said.

While in New Zealand, Prime Minister Rabuka will undertake a series of formal engagements in Auckland and Wellington, including bilateral meetings with Prime Minister Hipkins, Foreign Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta and Minister for Climate Change James Shaw, and a ceremonial visit to the National War Memorial and Pacific War Memorial Te Reo Hotunui o te Moana-nui-a-Kiwa, at Pukeahu.

Ilaitia Ravuwai
Ilaitia Ravuwai
Journalist | news@fijilive.com

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