The United States (U.S.) and Fiji have reaffirmed commitment to advance shared interests in building a more peaceful, stable, and prosperous Indo-Pacific region.
This was conveyed at a courtesy call received by the Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs, Honourable Sitiveni Rabuka from the Commander of the United States Indo-Pacific Command, Admiral John C. Aquilino.
He was accompanied by the Ambassador of the United States to Fiji, Her Excellency Ms. Marie C. Damour to the meeting held at the Office of the Prime Minister, yesterday (31/1/2023).
Prime Minister Rabuka welcomed Admiral Aquilino to Fiji, for his first official visit to our shores which, signifies a strong partnership between the United States and Fiji.
He reiterated the Fiji Government’s commitment to work closely with the United States to deepen the levels of cooperation in defence and security, climate change and oceans, economic development, trade and tourism, among issues that matter most to Fiji and the Pacific.
Prime Minister Rabuka acknowledged the United States for their renewed commitment to the Pacific and he is confident that the relations will reach to new levels.
He commended the United States for their efforts to establish the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) Office here in Suva, this year. This initiative will unfold new opportunities to assist the communities in Fiji, Pacific and beyond.
On regional cooperation, Prime Minister Rabuka in his capacity as the Chair of the Pacific Islands Forum (PIF), outlined the priorities of the Forum and his commitment to restore the region’s solidarity.
Prime Minister Rabuka thanked Admiral Aquilino and his delegation for their timely visit to our nation to build a stronger cooperation.
The meeting concluded on a high note, with Admiral Aquilino conveying his sincere appreciation to Prime Minister Rabuka for the opportunity to meet in person and discuss issues of importance to both nations.
“The relationship between the United States and Fiji continues to grow and is rooted in our people to people ties, shared values, and desire to ensure the region remains stable.
“We thank Fiji for being a leader in the Pacific,” Admiral Aquilino said.
Ambassador, Ms. Marie C. Damour elaborated that, “Since World War II, Fiji and the United States have worked side-by-side to ensure peace and security in the Indo-Pacific region.
“Admiral Aquilino visited Fiji to reaffirm this strong relationship and underscore the United States commitment to supporting a strong, united, resilient, and prosperous Blue Pacific,” she added.
While in Fiji, Admiral Aquilino met with the Minister for Home Affairs, Honourable Pio Tikoduadua and the Commander of the Republic of Fiji Military Forces (RFMF) Major General Jone Kalouniwai.
Admiral Aquilino will also lay a wreath at the National War Memorial and visit the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat, before departing our shores, later today.
The United States Indo-Pacific Command (USINDOPACOM) is the United States oldest and largest combatant command, which includes 380,000 Soldiers, Sailors, Marines, Airmen, Guardians, Coast Guardsmen and Department of Defense civilians.
It is responsible for all the U.S. military activities in the Indo-Pacific, covering 36 nations, 14 time zones, and more than 50 percent of the world’s population.