The Prime Minister of Samoa Fiame Naomi Mata’afa and Prime Minister of the Cook Islands Mark Brown are in Fiji to open their respective embassies in the country.
It is being tagged as a historic occasion as the two Polynesian nations open their first ever diplomatic missions in Suva.
The two leaders will also be meeting with the Fijian Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama to discuss bilateral agreements and ways to help each nation.
This will also be Mr Bainimarama’s first meeting with Ms Mata’afa. Her predecessor who was been suspended from the Samoan parliament always had been critical of Fiji.
Samoan High Commissioner to Fiji, Ali’ioaiga Feturi Elisaia said this symbolises the commitment of the Pacific family to strengthen partnerships for the advancement of shared aspirations and regional solidarity.
“The opening the new Samoan High Commission in Fiji, signifies Samoa’s unwavering commitment to elevate the current collaboration with Fiji at all levels and it’s also a true reflection of the strengthened relationship between the two countries, nurtured over many years,” he said.
“Having a full-fledged diplomatic presence in Suva ushers in a new dawn in the enduring and multifaceted Samoa-Fiji relations which is anchored in mutual trust and respect, genuine friendship and people to people ties.
“Being on the ground where all other Forum Island members are represented including the presence of the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat (PIFS) and other Council of Regional Organisations of the Pacific (CROP) agencies, will allow Samoa to be an effective part of the solution in the Pacific collective search to unlock opportunities for expanded cooperation and build ever closer ties between Samoa and Fiji and the rest of our member states.”
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Cook Islands High Commissioner to Fiji, Jim Armistead said the opening of the Cook Islands High Commission reaffirms the Government of Cook Islands’ exemplary partnership with the Fijian Government in advancing shared aspirations.
“Fiji is at the heart of the Pacific and establishing a mission here has been a longstanding ambition for the Cook Islands and reflects the close ties that exists between our two countries. There are many opportunities to expand our cooperation in trade, commerce, labour, education, culture, and people to people exchanges,” he said.