Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama met with the Foreign Affairs Minister for Timor Leste, Honourable Adaljíza Magno in Vienna, Austria, where he expressed Fiji’s keenness to explore areas of bilateral engagement, particularly in our regional cooperation such as health, fisheries, gender, climate change, and biodiversity conservation. Prime Minister Bainimarama said at the meeting that our common membership of the South Pacific Tourism Organisation (SPTO) is a strong start to advance towards a Tourism Industry that prioritises sustainability and local communities whilst ensuring business competitiveness.

Fiji is committed to elevating our relations with Timor Leste at all levels and looks forward to expanding our collaboration to mutually beneficial areas of cooperation.

While speaking about the issue of nuclear disarmament, Prime Minister Bainimarama congratulated the Government of Timor Leste for being the latest country to ratify the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW) and also promoting universal adherence to the Treaty.

On the prospect of sustainable development, the Prime Minister informed Honourable Magno that Fiji is building back better from the pandemic, through investing in climate-resilient and sustainable infrastructure and disaster readiness, with a renewed focus on environmentally sustainable development and conservation.

As Small Island Developing States, Fiji and Timor Leste share similar experiences and challenges however, the Prime Minister said that he is confident that by working together, we can achieve equitable and fair outcomes and ensure that we are not left behind in the development race.

Honourable Magno, in her response, conveyed her appreciation to the Prime Minister for the opportunity to meet and discuss issues of mutual interests and bilateral cooperation.

The Minister said Timor Leste welcomes the idea of more collaborations especially, in the area of defence and security, training opportunities, and people-to-people exchanges, among other important issues. She said Timor Leste is looking forward to Fiji’s bilateral support and cooperation on issues of mutual interests in the future.