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France Always Maintained A Balanced Position

France Always Maintained A Balanced Position
The new French Ambassador to Fiji, Michael Djokovic (left), with President Ratu Epeli Nailatikau in Suva yesterday.
November 28
14:05 2014

The new French Ambassador to Fiji Michel Djokovic said France had always been confident that the elections would happen and they had maintained a balanced position towards Fiji.

He said this was why they were among the first country to actively re-engage with Fiji.
Mr Djokovic made these comments while presenting his letter of credentials to the President, Ratu Epeli Nailatikau, yesterday.

“France is part of the Pacific region and the Wallis and Futuna territory makes my country Fiji’s closest neighbours,” Mr Djokovic said.

He said they shared borders with 11 countries in the region and around 540,000 French citizens were Pacific islanders living in New Caledonia, French Polynesia and Wallis and Futuna.

“We are glad that the Pacific Islands Development Forum had invited us since its first meeting as full members.”
Mr Djokovic said this called for an increase in their relations with Fiji and that it had become a central country in the South Pacific.

“The co-operation between our two countries with a strong involvement of our territories must be as wide as possible.”

He said their priority was education because they wanted to ensure that academic co-operation was strengthened especially in French language studies.

“We are already providing teachers at Suva Grammar School, Marist Brothers High School, the University of the South Pacific and Fiji National University,” he said.

“The military co-operation for a better dialogue and surveillance of the exclusive economic zone is also very important in fields of economy, trade, culture, sport and gastronomy.”

Mr Djokovic said they would also maintain and develop a fruitful political dialogue with Fiji together with their European Union colleagues.

He said Fiji and France both widely contributed to peacekeeping operations hence they must join forces and be partners in all fields in the United Nations.

About him:
– He was appointed as French Ambassador to Fiji, Kiribati, Nauru, Tonga and Tuvalu in October 2014.
– He was previously Ambassador of France in Vanuatu (2011-2014) and Director for Oceania at the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs in Paris (2008-2011).
– Mr Djokovic began his career at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 1981 when dealing with scientific and technical co-operation issues with Eastern countries.
– He speaks English, Russian and Serbo-Croatian. A father of three and has arrived in Fiji with his wife Laurence.
Feedback:  zafiya.shyamim@fijisun.com.fj

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