Every Fijian joins me in sending a message of sympathy, love and support to the many Australians currently suffering from the bushfire crisis. We join the Australian people in grieving for those who have lost their lives, those who have lost their homes and businesses and for the terrible loss of your livestock and unique wildlife.
The scenes of destruction are heartbreaking. But we also salute the extraordinary bravery of the thousands of men and women – and especially the volunteers of the Rural Fire Service – who are placing their lives on the line to protect their fellow Australians. Those who have died doing so are genuine heroes who have the admiration, respect and gratitude of us all.
We send a special message of sympathy to the families of those who have lost loved ones in the fires. The Fijian people hold you close in our hearts and pray that God’s blessing and comfort is with you at this time of mourning and remembrance.
Fijians have a communion of suffering with the Australian people in dealing with the extreme weather patterns caused by climate change. We will never forget the Australians – and especially your servicemen and women – who came to our assistance four years ago when we lost 44 of our loved ones in Cyclone Winston.
Fiji offers its assistance and support to Australia in any anyway we can to deal with the present crisis. We count the Australian people as being among our closest friends and will always stand shoulder to shoulder with you.
May God bless you, our two nations and the inseparable ties that bind us.