Prime Minister Sitiveni Rabuka was honored to meet His Excellency Benjamin Netanyahu, Prime Minister of the Government of Israel, along with fellow Pacific leaders on the fringes of the United Nations General Assembly in New York.
The meeting marks a significant step in strengthening the bonds of friendship and cooperation between Fiji and Israel.
During the meeting, Prime Minister Rabuka expressed his gratitude to Prime Minister Netanyahu for extending the invitation and congratulated him on his impressive achievements since returning to office following successful elections.
He also shared his deep personal connection to Israel, not only as a Christian but as a peacekeeper who served in the region for several years.
Prime Minister Rabuka commended Israel’s leadership as one of the most resilient and technologically-advanced nations with innovative industries.
Fiji and Israel’s bilateral relations have steadily improved since 1970, spanning 53-years of partnership.
Prime Minister Rabuka confirmed Fiji’s intention to establish its first embassy in Israel, a proposal that has received the endorsement of Israeli Foreign Minister Eli Cohen.
This move, Prime Minister Rabuka said underscores Fiji’s dedication to deepening bilateral relations with Israel and the Holy Land.
Fiji’s unwavering support for peace and stability in the Middle East was also discussed; with Fiji’s long-term commitment to UN peacekeeping operations in the Middle East, including involvement with the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL), the Multinational Force and Observers (MFO), and the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF).
Meanwhile, the Prime Minister said Fiji is actively exploring opportunities for collaboration with the Israeli private sector in key areas such as agriculture, renewable energy, technology, and small and medium enterprises.
The ‘Israel-Pacific Food Security Alliance’ (IPFSA) is another focal point for Fiji, as it aims to provide long-term training and capacity building in agriculture.
Currently, 13 students from the Navuso Agriculture Technical Institute are in Israel as part of an internship program, contributing to their learning and expertise in innovative agricultural technology.