Fiji and Papua New Guinea have strong traditional ties and we belong to one Pacific and one Melanesia.
These were the remarks conveyed by the Prime Minister of Papua New Guinea Honourable James Marape while hosting Prime Minister Sitiveni Rabuka and his delegation to an official dinner last night.
Prime Minister Marape, in welcoming his Fijian counterpart to Port Moresby, said the people of Papua New Guinea “extends warm greetings to you Mr Prime Minister and your delegation to your home”.
“For this moment as we host you for dinner, we see you not just as the head of your country, but most importanly, as a senior leader of the Pacific.”
“We appreciate PNG and Fiji’s shared heritage and we will work towards building a brighter future for our people.”
Prime Minister Marape was joined by members of his Cabinet, Diplomatic Corps and invited guests at the official dinner.
Prime Minister Rabuka, on behalf of the Fiji delegation, said it was a great pleasure to be part of the dinner, and to celebrate the longstanding friendship between our two countries.
He added that his official visit to PNG was built on the Pacific “kastom of establishing relationships and renewing ties”.
Prime Minister Rabuka also paid tribute to the founding fathers of the two great countries, the late Grand Chief Sir Michael Somare and the late Ratu Sir Kamisese Mara who, in their wisdom and through their visionary leadership, recognised the importance of a strong relationship and partnership in the face of challenges, as they led our nations to independence.
“Both men believed in the Pacific Way and that we should be captains of our own destiny. The friendship shared between these two Statesmen was a genuine one, and both shared a common vision for the prosperity of our two countries and the Pacific region as a whole,” he said.
The two leaders will have a bilateral meeting today.
The deliberation will be based on mutual respect and understanding on issues of common interest.