Suva, 22 October 2022 (TDI): Australia’s Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defence, Richard Marles visited Fiji on 20 October 2022.

He met with the Prime Minister of Fiji, Josaia Voreqe “Frank” Bainimarama and other officials to discuss bilateral ties and cooperation on 21 October 2022.

Meeting with the Prime Minister of Fiji

On 21 October 2022, Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama received a courtesy call from Deputy Prime Minister and Defence Minister Richard Marles.

Frank Bainimarama welcomed Richard Marles and discussed bilateral partnerships to strengthen and deepen friendship between both nations. He expressed his gratitude to Australia for its assistance to Fiji during COVID Pandemic.

He further added the importance of the Pacific Australia Labour Mobility (PALM) Scheme stating that he looked forward to Australia’s support to increase employment opportunities for the people of Fiji.

Frank Bainimarama also applauded Australia’s commitment to reverse climate change. Both countries will build momentum in the lead to the climate change conference, COP27, Egypt.

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Moreover, Prime Minister Bainimarama said Blackrock Camp is a landmark achievement of the Fiji-Australia joint security effort and it will now operate as a Regional Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR) Centre.

He further quoted that Fiji stands with Australia’s stance of an immediate ceasefire between Ukraine and Russia as this conflict is causing economic instability not only in the Pacific but around the globe.

Prime Minister, Chair of the Pacific Island Forum further thanked Australia for its support towards regional unification and solidarity of the Blue Pacific Family. He asked Australia’s partnership to implement the 2050 Strategy of a Blue Pacific Continent.

Both the Leaders expressed their confidence in Vuvale Partnership between both countries and it will heighten the Australia-Fiji relation to a new extent.

Deputy Prime Minister of Australia, Richard Marles emphasized on Fiji-Australia relationship’s utmost importance. He further said that both countries tend to close now Australia and Fiji are closer today than ever.