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US delegation closed-door Fiji meetings amid China fears

The US Coast Guard Munro’s stopover in Suva coincided with the visit from US National Security Council Indo-Pacific Coordinator Kurt Campbell, and Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs Daniel Kritenbrink.

The two men and their delegation held talks with the Fijian Government.

The meetings took place behind closed doors in the Prime Minister’s office.

Fiji, Papua New Guinea, and the Solomon Islands are on the list of countries to visit for Mr Campbell and Mr Kritenbrink.

The delegation includes representatives from the National Security Council, the Department of State, the Department of Defence, and the United States Agency for International Development.

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Discussions between US security delegation and their Fijian counterparts. Picture: Fijian Government

In an earlier statement, the US Government said the delegation will seek to further deepen enduring ties with the region and to advance a free, open, and resilient Indo-Pacific.

Many have seen this visit as a response to the China and Solomon Islands deal.

The security deal sparked debate in the Pacific and speculations of a possible Chinese military base in the islands.

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Prime Minister of Fiji Voreqe Bainimarama and deputy Assistant to the President of the United States and National Security Council Indo-Pacific Coordinator, Kurt Campbell. Picture: supplied

Fears and implications of the deal had been made clear by the US Government earlier this week.

The Solomon Islands Prime Minister Manasseh Sogovare stated that there would be no Chinese military base in the country.

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The Chinese government has stated in Xinhua, that the deal is a normal international cooperation and security arrangement and had been signed on Tuesday.

According to alleged leaked documents, Solomon Islands can ask for assistance from the Chinese Police and military during natural disasters and civil unrests.

This has not gone down well with the US, Australia and New Zealand.

Prior to the deal being signed, Canberra had urged Mr Sogovare not to sign the deal.

The US delegation is likely to issue a statement after the conclusion of their Melanesia tour.

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