Messages Of Welcome On The Release Of Our 45

Accolades poured in from around the world yesterday following the unconditional release of the 45 Fijian soldiers who were held captive in the Golan Heights. The soldiers were released after
12 Sep 2014 10:34
Messages Of Welcome On The Release Of Our 45
Yasawa forwards power through the Navosa defence at Ratu Navula College ground in Nadi, this afternoon. Photo: Waisea NASOKIA

Accolades poured in from around the world yesterday following the unconditional release of the 45 Fijian soldiers who were held captive in the Golan Heights.

The soldiers were released after they were held captive by the al-Nusra Front in Syria, a wing of the al-Qaeda, a global militant Islamist and Wahhabist organisation.

Joining the families and Fijians across the world in celebrating the safe releaser of our soldiers are some of Fiji’s strong allies, who sent congratulatory messages through their embassies and high commissions here.


Australia has welcomed the unconditional release of 45 Fijian peacekeepers detained since 28 August.

Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop also acknowledged her Fijian counterpart, Ratu Inoke Kubuabola for his efforts.

“I commend the courage and bravery of the peacekeepers and the strong support shown by their families and friends in Fiji during this difficult time.

“I also commend the Fiji Government for its resolute commitment to ensuring the release of its soldiers and for its handling of the situation.”

“I acknowledge the efforts of Fijian Foreign Minister Inoke Kubuabola who travelled to the Middle East to secure their release.”

Ms Bishop said Australia was pleased to provide assistance and support to Fiji including through their global intelligence network.
The peacekeepers had been serving with the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF) in the Golan Heights.

New Zealand

Foreign Minister Murray McCully has welcomed the safe release of 45 United Nations peacekeepers from Fiji who had been detained in Syria.

“The safe release of the peacekeepers is an excellent outcome for the soldiers and their friends and family in Fiji,” he said.

“New Zealand applauds the hard work from the United Nations and others to secure their safe release.

“The peacekeepers were working under the United Nations banner to maintain stability along the border between Syria and Israel in the Golan Heights.

“All parties in this region must respect the inviolability of United Nations peacekeepers and their right to carry out their work on behalf of the international community,” says Murray.

United States of America

Ambassador to Fiji, Frankie A. Reed said the release of the 45 brave Fijian peacekeepers in Golan Heights has brought great joy and relief.

“I commend Fiji and the international community for their perseverance to secure the soldiers’ safe release. The peacekeepers are treasured members of our families, our congregations and our communities.

“Fiji’s long-standing role working towards peace far from its shores is an inspiration and recent events have proven how difficult the task of creating and preserving a fragile peace remains.

“Our thoughts and prayers go out to the soldiers, their families, and their friends who have been through so much over the last several weeks,” she said.


French Ambassador to Fiji, Gilles Montagnier said they are glad to know the 45 Fijian peacekeepers have been released and are safe with the United Nations Disengagement Observers.

“We also acknowledge the team of negotiators and the efforts from other parties in securing the safe release of the Fijian soldiers.

“And, last but not least, we have to pay tribute to the courage of Fijian peacekeepers and to Fiji’s strong involvement on the peace keeping operation as it was clear throughout the entire crisis that Fiji will remain committed. No debate arose regarding a possible withdrawal from the Golan Heights.”

Two weeks ago France stood in solidarity with the Fijian government, the Fiji Military Forces, families of the 45 detained soldiers and the people of Fiji, condemning the detainment and demanded for the immediate release of the soldiers.


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