Saturday, May 18, 2024
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Solarisation of State Residences project launched

Minister for External Affairs of the Republic of India Dr Subrahmanyam Jaishankar and His Excellency the President of Fiji, Ratu Williame Katonivere launched the ‘Solarisation of the Pacific Heads of State Residences project’ at the State House in Suva today.

Dr Jaishankar said the project is supported by the Government of India and the State House in Suva was the first location where we’ve actually seen this fructified.

He said the project reflects India’s strong commitment to climate action, to climate justice, which is also underlining our shared priorities with the Pacific islands on this very important challenge of climate change.

“We also just signed and exchanged the visa waiver agreement. It will certainly be helpful in encouraging greater travel between our two countries. And I would also say the experience of the World Hindi Conference would also surely enthuse all the delegates, their friends and relatives, of which I am sure there are many, to come to Fiji as well.”

“India and Fiji have close and long-standing ties and I think a large part of that is really built on our people-to-people linkages. We have been privileged to partner with Fiji in its nation building efforts across various sectors, in working with it in capacity building; in areas like health, education, agriculture; we’ve done projects in the Sugarcane industry; we’ve worked together in renewable energy; and I think today one part of our discussion looked at areas like IT and support for Medium and Small enterprises. So there is really a very substantive bilateral agenda before us.”

He highlighted that in a region that is prone to natural disasters, India has also stood with Fiji in difficult times.

“We’ve been a first responder on certain occasions. And during Covid, in line with what we call our Vaccine Maitri initiative, Vaccine friendship initiative, Fiji was recipient of a 100,000 doses of vaccines in March 2021 and we are truly pleased at the recovery that we see in Fiji and it’s something that we regard as something which is very good for the global economy.”

“Again, reflecting our unique demand-driven development partnership approach, we are very pleased to work on high impact community projects in Fiji. I think some of these have contributed to transforming the quality of life of communities here. We certainly look forward to doing more of that in the coming days.”

He added they discussed regional and global issues of shared interest and that both the nations agreed to work more closely towards strengthening our multilateral cooperation, working strongly in international organisations.

“We particularly focused on the Pacific region because again India sees Fiji as a very important partner in the Indo-Pacific. We hope to co-host the third Summit of the Forum for India Pacific Islands Cooperation (FIPIC) in the coming months and we would certainly value Fiji’s presence and leadership on that occasion.”

“So let me conclude by emphasising that we are very confident of our long-standing relations between our two countries. I am very assured after discussions with the Prime Minister that this relationship will scale greater heights, that it would deliver for the mutual benefit of the peoples, and that our expectations of this relationship would be fully realized.”

Romeka Romena
Romeka Romena
Journalist | news@fijilive.com

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