21st July 2012: International relations is about building cordial relations between countries, and in the same breath, countries work on mutual cooperation in areas of common interest.
A meeting between New Zealand’s Foreign Affairs Minister, Hon Murray McCully, and Fiji’s Minister for Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Ratu Inoke Kubuabola this week, on re-building diplomatic relations between the two countries, would definitely be etched in their history books.
Minister Kubuabola who recently returned from the opening of Fiji’s newest diplomatic mission in South Korea said that the meeting with his New Zealand counterpart was a positive one and highlighted New Zealand’s willingness to assist Fiji in its constitutional reforms.
In that regard, the New Zealand Government was ready to assist Fiji with $0.5 million dollars towards the work of the Constitution Commission.
As the Pacific Islands Forum’s (PIF) current chair, New Zealand would like to make a positive report on the progress made in Fiji to the next PIF Leaders Meeting in Cook Islands in late August.
Minister Kubuabola said that since Fiji was suspended from the Pacific Islands Forum (PIF) in 2009, the nation’s "Look North Plus" foreign policy has been revamped to establish ties with countries that understood Fiji’s political and economic situation.
“However, with yesterday’s meeting, I am optimistic that relations between Fiji and New Zealand is beginning to normalise; an added impetus towards good governance and democratic elections, all of which are central in Fiji’s way forward,” Minister Kubuabola said.
Prior to yesterday's meeting, Minister Mc Cully met with the PIF Secretary General, Mr Tuiloma Neoroni Slade. Minister Mc Cully leaves Fiji this afternoon.
(Photo caption: Fiji's Foreign Minister Ratu Kubuabola with New Zealand counterpart Mr McCully yesterday)
Ministry of Foreign Affairs & International Cooperation P. O. Box 2220 Government Buildings Suva, Fiji