Thu, 23 Mar 2023

SUVA, March 16 (Xinhua) -- Fiji and New Zealand pledged on Thursday to further strengthen bilateral relations and to work together on issues of common interest.

According to a statement by the Fijian government, Fijian Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs Sitiveni Rabuka and visiting New Zealand Foreign Minister Nanaia Mahuta made the remarks during a bilateral meeting held in Nadi, Fiji's third largest city.

While describing Mahuta's visit as the symbol of warm relations and strengthened collaboration between Fiji and New Zealand, Rabuka also showed his appreciation to New Zealand for its continued support, including finance for climate action initiatives and general budget support, which was announced on Thursday.

"Fiji and New Zealand are traditional partners, (and) our friendship and cooperation continues to grow from strength to strength," he said, adding, "This timely assistance demonstrates New Zealand's unwavering support and commitment towards Fiji's national priorities."

The prime minister said that they are more resolved now than ever to build a sustainable and stronger future for their people in Fiji, New Zealand, the Pacific and beyond.

According to the statement by the Fijian government, Mahuta described Thursday's meeting as fruitful, saying New Zealand will provide finance worth around 10 million U.S. dollars for flexible climate action initiatives in Fiji.

She said that the two sides discussed their countries' areas of joint ambition, both in terms of their direct country-to-country cooperation and as a unified Pacific family.

"New Zealand remains committed to doing its fair share in the global race to tackle climate change by assisting partner countries to protect lives, livelihoods and infrastructure from the impacts of climate change," the minister added.

Mahuta is currently in Fiji for a two-day visit, her first to the island nation since Rabuka's new coalition government came to power last December.

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