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Visit Good Opportunity To Renew Ties: Feakes

Visit Good Opportunity To Renew Ties: Feakes
Ni sa moce .... Australian High Commissioner to Fiji John Feakes waves goobye to the crew of the HMAS Adelaide as she left Suva on June 11, 2018. PHOTOS: Taraivini Seru
June 13
11:00 2018

Australian High Commissioner to Fiji John Feakes said the three-day stopover of Her Majesty’s Australian Ships Adelaide and Melbourne was a good opportunity to renew ties with their Fijian counterparts.

The vessels left Fiji following their successful port visit as part of Indo- Pacific Endeavour 2018 (IPE) on Monday evening.

“It was a wonderful visit which further strengthened connec­tions between the Republic of Fiji Military Forces and Australian Defence Forces,” Mr Feakes said.

Mr Feakes made the comments as HMAS Adelaide departed from the Kings wharf on the trail of the HMAS Melbourne which had sailed earlier.

Earlier on Monday there was a joint demonstration exercise be­tween RFMF and ADF as an op­portunity for Fiji to modernize its capabilities.

The Fijian Navy division and members of the third battalion conducted an amphibious exercise demonstrating how to operate in any scenario including disaster re­lief operations.

RFMF chief of staff Brigadier- General Ro Jone Kalouniwai said the RFMF-ADF co-operation al­lowed RFMF land troops to fully in­corporate with the naval division.

Meanwhile, Mr Feakes said the attendance of 30 members of the ships’ crew at the Sunday combined church on Sunday at Centenary Church in Suva marking RFMF’s celebrating 40 years of service to United Nations peacekeeping.

“We were deeply touched to be invited for the commemorative service at Centenary Church,” Mr Feakes said.

He said the speech by Ratu Epeli Nailatikau was a moving address meant a lot to the Australian crew members who attended the service.

The High Commissioner also said the eight member Fijian personnel from the RFMF who sailed with the vessels from Australia had made connections with the Australian crew members making lifetime connections that benefitted both parties.

The vessels would be sailing for a two-day visit in Tonga before de­parting to participate in Exercise Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) 2018 in Hawaii. The RFMF band played farewell songs as the two navy ships departed for Tonga.

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