RABUKA STRENGTHENS PARTNERSHIPS WITH AUSTRALIA AND KIRIBATI
MR RABUKA THANKS AUSTRALIA’S RECENT BUDGET SUPPORT OF AUD$10MILLION. ‘We are screening Rabi lawyers, educators and health professionals who can come and work in Kiribati to assist the island nation’s development priorities’
Prime Minister Sitiveni Rabuka held productive discussions with Australia’s Minister for International Development and the Pacific, and Defence Industry, Pat Conroy on Monday.
He acknowledged Australia’s support to Fiji, notably through the recent budget support of AUD$10 million (FJD$14,768,539) for the Fiji Cyclone Recovery Programme to rebuild schools in the Northern Division.
The meeting took place along the margins of the 3rd FIPIC Summit in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea. Discussions at the meeting covered areas of economic development, la
bour mobility, sports diplomacy, health and education, defence and security, climate resilience.
Mr Rabuka also thanked Australia for its ongoing support on regional solidarity and efforts towards the implementation of the 2050 strategy for the Pacific.
In response, Mr Conroy thanked Mr Rabuka for the opportunity to meet and discuss areas of collaboration between the two countries.
As traditional partners, he said Fiji and Australia had potential to build a resilient and sustainable future for the well-being of their people and that of the Pacific family.
Working closely with Kiribati
Mr Rabuka said Fiji remained committed to working with Kiribati.
While meeting the President of Kiribati, Taneti Maamau, on the margins of the 3rd FIPIC Summit, Mr Rabuka thanked him for the opportunity to meet and discuss areas of further collaboration.
Speaking on the re-establishment of the Rabi Island Council, Mr Rabuka told Mr Maamau that the administration was fully operational with an interim administrator overseeing the operations of the council.
Discussions also focused on the land belonging to the government of Kiribati namely, Natoavatu Estate, in Vanua Levu.
Mr Rabuka told Mr Maamau that “we are also screening Rabi lawyers, educators and health professionals who can come and work in Kiribati to assist the island nation’s development
On regional issues, Mr Rabuka reiterated the Pacific leaders’ vision for a peaceful, secure and prosperous Pacific region.
He emphasised the need for the Pacific forum family to collectively work together to address the challenges ahead, in line with the 2050 Strategy.
Mr Maamau, in his response, acknowledged Mr Rabuka’s leadership, being one of the most senior leaders in the Pacific.
He said Kiribati looked forward to working with Fiji to enhance bilateral relations.