Australia’s change in attitude towards the Pacific has been noted as a positive step by Nauru.
The Labor government has been quick to interact with the Pacific nations and has promised that they will listen.
Nauru’s president Lionel Aingimea sees this as “absolute commitment” from the newly installed Australian government following positive meetings in Canberra.
Mr Aingimea held separate meetings with the Australian Minister for International Development and the Pacific Pat Conroy, Deputy Prime Minister Richard Marles, and Minister for Home Affairs Clare O’Neil.
The meetings covered a broad range of issues of importance to Nauru, recognising the two countries’ historical ties and mutual aspirations.
While the discussions are in the infancy stage, Mr Aingimea said in a statement that he was “incredibly happy with the strength of the relationship.”
“I see the Australian government stepping in to Nauru at a bigger scale and doing things in Nauru and for the region, which shows they’re absolutely committed to what they want to do in the Pacific,” he said.
Mr Aingimea said the rapport with the ministers guided open and frank discussions, and the consistent message of Nauru’s importance to Australia, and building genuine partnerships in the Pacific was reinforced.
Australia has been reaching into the Pacific and holding discussions with the Pacific leaders. This is a change in approach from the previous government and welcomed by many Pacific nations.