Prime Minister Sitiveni Rabuka and UAE Foreign Minister His Highness Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan met on 19 September 2023 at the UAE Mission in New York, where they discussed crucial global issues and outlined timelines for future cooperation.
The meeting marked a significant step towards enhancing the diplomatic relations between the two nations.
During the meeting, several key issues were discussed:
H.H Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan welcomed Fiji’s participation in the upcoming UNFCCC COP 28, that will be hosted by the UAE at Expo City, Dubai from 30 November to 12 December this year.
Prime Minister Rabuka confirmed Fiji’s representation and highlighted the bipartisan and inclusive approach by extending invitations to the Leader of Opposition and former Climate Champion.
The UAE expressed its commitment to renewable energy and its awareness of the disproportionate impact of climate change on Small Island Developing States (SIDS) like Fiji.
Both nations emphasised the importance of renewable energy, with UAE offering to partner with Fiji in this endeavor.
UAE’s expertise in efficiency and cost-effective renewable solutions, as demonstrated in its cooperation with Indonesia, was highlighted.
Prime Minister Rabuka shared Fiji’s renewable options, leveraging its qualified and young workforce, unique geo
graphical attributes, and improved connectivity.
The UAE highlighted existing cooperation, including the Air Service Agreement and Promotion of Investment.
Both nations expressed interest in expanding cooperation in renewables, particularly in solar energy and related infrastructure.
The UAE expressed keen interest in identifying potential areas of cooperation with Fiji and requested that these be presented during the margins of COP 28.
Both nations are eager to establish tangible collaborations and recognize the historical challenges that have affected Fiji’s development progress.
UAE Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan revealed plans to strengthen relations with Fiji by establishing a UAE Foreign Mission in Suva, underscoring the commitment to strengthen diplomatic ties.
Prime Minister Rabuka expressed Fiji’s profound gratitude for the fruitful discussions and looked forward to deepening cooperation with the UAE.
He acknowledged the UAE’s economic prowess and potential, emphasizing the importance of harnessing this potential for the mutual benefit of both nations and as a valuable option for Fiji’s development trajectory.
The meeting between Prime Minister Rabuka and Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan signifies the beginning of a new chapter in the bilateral relations between Fiji and the UAE, with a shared vision of addressing global challenges and fostering collaboration for a sustainable future.