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Fijian PM Congratulates Turnbull

Fijian Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama today sent the following letter congratulating his new Australian counterpart, Malcolm Turnbull, after he was chosen by his Liberal Party colleagues to replace Tony Abbott.  
15 Sep 2015 20:50
Fijian PM Congratulates Turnbull
New Australian PM, Malcolm Turnbull.

Fijian Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama today sent the following letter congratulating his new Australian counterpart, Malcolm Turnbull, after he was chosen by his Liberal Party colleagues to replace Tony Abbott.

 

15th September, 2015

Honourable Malcolm Turnbull

Prime Minister of Australia

Parliament House

Canberra

AUSTRALIA

 

Dear Prime Minister

On behalf of the Fijian Government and Fijian people, I convey to you our congratulations on being chosen by your Liberal Party colleagues to be Prime Minister. I look forward to working with you to expand the bilateral ties between Fiji and Australia and develop our co-operation at a regional and global level.

There has always been the closest of relationships between the Fijian and Australian peoples. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said at the political and diplomatic levels in recent years, and I hope to work with you to begin charting a new course.

The trade ties between our nations are strong, and Fiji is especially keen to expand these for our mutual benefit and encourage further investment in Fiji by Australian companies.

On the issue of greatest concern to Pacific people- climate change- we are encouraged by your previous public statements about the need for more decisive action to reduce carbon emissions to arrest the current state of global warming. I note that you have said there will be no change in the carbon emission targets that Australia has already submitted to the United Nations Climate Conference in Paris at the end of November. But I appeal to you to reconsider Australia’s position and take into account the grave danger to Pacific countries caused by rising sea levels and extreme weather events and the need for concerted and decisive global action to address this crisis.

We need Australia on our side on the issue of climate change and the damaging effects it is already having on low lying atolls and coastal areas in the Pacific nations. And it is a matter of grave disappointment to me and the other Island Leaders that rather than recognising our plight, Australia has been putting its own interests- and especially those of its Coal Industry- before the welfare of the Pacific peoples.

We hope that you can provide the leadership Australia needs to recognise its responsibility to be a good neighbour and stand with us in this struggle.  And, indeed, to recognise that the further development of your nation’s reserves of coal- the most polluting of energy sources- is also detrimental to the Australian people and the world as a whole.

Prime Minister, I am pleased to note that we have enjoyed a constructive relationship with your Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister, Julie Bishop, and I ask you to pass on our congratulations to her for being chosen by your party to continue in those roles.

 

With every best wish.

 

Yours sincerely,

Josaia Voreqe Bainimarama

Prime Minister

 

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