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Ratu Inoke hard at work during trips

His latest shuttle diplomacy to Canberra, Moscow and Seoul is intense Some people might think that the Minister for Foreign Affairs and International Co-operation, Ratu Inoke Kubuabola, is gallivanting around
24 Jun 2014 09:44

His latest shuttle diplomacy to Canberra, Moscow and Seoul is intense

Some people might think that the Minister for Foreign Affairs and International Co-operation, Ratu Inoke Kubuabola, is gallivanting around the globe. He is not.
His latest shuttle diplomacy to Canberra, Moscow and Seoul, is intense and can be energy sapping.
Today, he meets his Australian counterpart Julie Bishop to discuss serious bilateral issues that will affect Fijians living here and Australia. As a result of those talks, Fijian groups could be leaving soon to work in Australia as seasonal workers. Prior to 2006 the scheme existed. Many Fijians benefited from it through money saved for development projects back at home. That opportunity is set to return. The details are likely to be worked out in that Canberra meeting along with a new scheme allowing Fijians holidaying in Australia to work for three months. Other issues include regionalism and capacity building which means more training opportunities for Fijians.
Tomorrow, Ratu Inoke flies out of Sydney enroute to Moscow where he will hold bilateral talks with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov. Moscow is keen to expand its presence in the region, particularly in trade, fisheries, defence and tourism. Last week, the Russian Ambassador at Large, Alexander Ivanov, who represented Mr Lavrov, at the Pacific Islands Development Forum summit in Nadi, said Fiji should expect more tourists from Russia. While in Moscow, Ratu Inoke will host celebrations to mark the 40th anniversary of diplomatic relations between the two countries.
Russia is a world power and its sphere of influence extends to many parts of the world. For Fiji to attract its attention at this time in the context of the PIDF and regionalism is a wonderful privilege.
Ratu Inoke’s last stop in Seoul is to do with climate change, an issue that is relevant in Fiji’s development plan. And he will accomplish all these tasks in one week, after having travelled thousands of kilometres.
NEMANI DELIABATIKI
Feedback: nemani.delaibatiki@fijisun.com.fj



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