Prime Minister Sitiveni Rabuka will depart for Samoa today to join regional leaders who have been invited to witness the 61st Anniversary of Independence celebrations.
At the invitation of Samoa’s Prime Minister Fiame Naomi Mata’afa, Prime Minister Rabuka said his attendance demonstrates his intent to continue the work of strengthening our Pacific Vuvale.
“I congratulate Samoa on this milestone and look forward to joining other invited Pacific leaders in Apia. Fiji shares a longstanding relationship with Samoa and the People’s Coalition Government will build on our strong relations during my term in office,” Prime Minister Rabuka said.
“Samoa’s political history is significant to the region. The country was the first to gain independence (from New Zealand) on January 1, 1962. When Samoa gained independence, the rest of us in the region were still colonies or dependencies. For many reasons, it took a while before we followed Samoa’s example and Fiji’s decision to stand alone came in 1970.”
Prime Minister Rabuka also acknowledged the contribution of Samoa’s elected and traditional leaders throughout the Pacific nation’s 60 years of independence.
“This is an ideal time for Samoans to pause and reflect on their achievements as a nation, friends they have made and the new established associations they can look forward to. This is also a time to think about the difficulties they have faced as a nation and how the people of Samoa have rallied together to overcome the obstacles.”
The end of Samoa’s 60th year of independence will be commemorated tomorrow.