NZ Trip Fruit­ful: Bain­i­marama

Warmth of per­sonal friend­ship now matched po­lit­i­cally

Fiji Sun - - Fiji Today - JY­OTI PRATIBHA Edited by Naisa Koroi

Prime Min­is­ter Voreqe Bain­i­marama’s trip to New Zealand seek­ing stronger ties be­tween old al­lies has been fruit­ful. While ad­dress­ing the me­dia yes­ter­day af­ter closed door talks with his New Zealand coun­ter­part, John Key, Mr Bain­i­marama said he was pleased with the out­come. “I came with the in­ten­tion of seek­ing a much stronger en­gage­ment be­tween Fiji and New Zealand. And I’m very pleased that the Prime Min­is­ter has agreed to work with me to take our re­la­tion­ship to another level. A re­la­tion­ship in which we let by­gones be by­gones and work closely to­gether to ad­vance the in­ter­ests of the Fi­jian and New Zealand peo­ples.” Mr Bain­i­marama was for­mally wel­comed to New Zealand at Gov­ern­ment House in Auckland. He was ac­corded a state visit and honours in his of­fi­cial visit since the 2014 elec­tions. The ‘wero’ a wel­come cer­e­mony was held at the tra­di­tional grounds of Kau­matua and then a 50-per­son Guard of Hon­our wel­comed him. “We’ve al­ways been the clos­est of friends at a per­sonal level and now the warmth of that en­gage­ment is fi­nally be­ing repli­cated at a po­lit­i­cal and diplo­matic level,” the PM said.

Broad and pos­i­tive dis­cus­sion about is­sues of mu­tual con­cern like cli­mate change were among the is­sues dis­cussed.

“From Fiji’s per­spec­tive, we must do a lot more to per­suade the world of the need for more rad­i­cal ac­tion to curb car­bon emis­sions. And try to ward off the ex­treme weather events and ris­ing sea lev­els that pose such a threat to na­tions such as Fiji,” Mr Bain­i­marama said. “I’m pleased to say that New Zealand recog­nises this im­per­a­tive and we will be work­ing much closer to­gether on cli­mate change and a range of other re­gional chal­lenges.”

Photo: DEPTFO News

From left: Min­is­ter for In­dus­try, Trade, Tourism, Lands and Min­eral Re­sources Faiyaz Koya, Prime Min­is­ter Voreqe Bain­i­marama, Min­is­ter for Agri­cul­ture, Ru­ral and Mar­itime Devel­op­ment and Na­tional Dis­as­ter Man­age­ment Inia Seruiratu, Fi­jian High Com­mis­sioner to New Zealand Fil­imone Waqabaca, and Per­ma­nent Sec­re­tary for In­dus­try, Trade and Tourism Shaheen Ali at the Gov­ern­ment House meet­ing with New Zealand rep­re­sen­ta­tives led by Prime Min­is­ter John Key in Auckland, New Zealand, yes­ter­day.

Photo: DEPTFO News

The ‘wero’ wel­come cer­e­mony was held at the tra­di­tional grounds of Kau­matua by the Maori yes­ter­day.

Photo: DEPTFO News

Prime Min­is­ter Voreqe Bain­i­marama in­spect­ing the 50-per­son Guard of Hon­our out­side Gov­ern­ment House in Auckland, New Zealand, yes­ter­day.

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