Fiji and Australia’s unwavering commitment to elevate and expand the Vuvale Partnership between the two countries was conveyed during a meeting held between the Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs, Hon. Sitiveni Rabuka and Australia’s Minister for Foreign Affairs, Senator the Hon. Penny Wong.
The meeting was an opportunity to discuss Fiji and Australia’s bilateral and regional cooperation ahead of the Pacific Islands Forum Foreign Ministers Meeting (FFMM) being convened yesterday at the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat (PIFS).
Prime Minister Rabuka thanked Minister Wong for her visit to Fiji and also reaffirmed Fiji’s unwavering commitment to further strengthen cooperation at all levels of development.
“I was pleased to meet Hon. Penny Wong to discuss the key areas of cooperation and Fiji is grateful to the Australian Government for its continued friendship and support to us at a time when we aspire to collaborate as Pacific family on issues that matters most to our region,” Prime Minister Rabuka said.
Senator the Hon. Penny Wong said “I was very honoured again to meet with Prime Minister Rabuka and to have further discussions with him about bilateral and regional issues and how we can continue to work together.
“I thanked him for his regional leadership as well as for his friendship and partnership, along with his government and country, for the people and country of Australia,” she continued.
PM Rabuka and Minister Wong reflected on the breadth and depth of our long-stranding partnership which encompasses an extensive number of shared priorities including economy recovery, climate change, infrastructure, health and education, trade and tourism, aviation, defence and security, labour mobility, capacity building, and regional solidarity.
A revised and elevated Vuvale Partnership is expected to be signed by both sides during the Guest of Government Visit to Australia by Prime Minister Rabuka, next month.
The Prime Minister and Minister Wong also reaffirmed their commitment to working collectively to tackle the challenges facing the region, chief among them the climate crisis and ensuring the stability, security and prosperity of our region.
The meeting was also an opportunity to reflect on the key priorities to be discussed at the FFMM, which includes the implementation plan of the 2050 Strategy; preparation for the 78th United Nations General Assembly (UNGA78), the upcoming Forum Leaders Meeting, COP28, amongst other regional priorities.