NEWS

Fiji-France Relations Dominate High Level Talks In Paris

A Government ministerial delegation from Fiji held high level talks this week with French senators to discuss strengthening bilateral relations between Fiji and France. The Minister for Foreign Affairs, Ratu Inoke
12 Dec 2015 10:39
Fiji-France Relations Dominate High Level Talks In Paris

A Government ministerial delegation from Fiji held high level talks this week with French senators to discuss strengthening bilateral relations between Fiji and France.

The Minister for Foreign Affairs, Ratu Inoke along with the Minister for Agriculture, Rural and Maritime Development and Disaster Management, Inia Seruiratu and Minister for Fisheries and Forests, Osea Naiqamu visited the French Senate where they met with the Senators at the margins of the 21st Conference of Parties (COP21) currently being held in Paris, France. The meeting took place at the invitation of the French Senator Robert Laufoaulu.

Together, both the Government Ministers and the French senators discussed areas of mutual interest including sports, aviation, agriculture and fisheries as well as briefing each other of their regional architecture and current political developments.

Ratu Inoke expressed his appreciation for the opportunity to meet the senators and advised the French politicians that as Fiji was a vulnerable Small Island Developing State, it looked forward to the French Presidency for its leadership at the COP21 negotiation process.

Minister Seruiratu responded to questions relating to Fiji’s level of agricultural imports and the initiatives that Fiji had been embarking upon towards agricultural self-sufficiency. He also advised the senators that 800 communities were likely to be impacted by the effects of climate change and the Government was being challenged to address a multitude of issues concerning relocation such as food security. Minister Naiqamu informed the senators of the initiatives that Fiji was taking to combat illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing in Fiji. He added that Fiji currently exports tuna loins to Japan, United States and European Union. The French Senators in response expressed their interest towards Fiji’s Fisheries sector.

Ratu Inoke gave the senators a brief account of the developments taking place in Fiji as well as regional and international obligations. The Minister highlighted the role played by the Pacific Islands Development Forum in addressing common challenges faced by Pacific island states. During the talks Ratu Inoke also commended Fiji’s sporting relations with France including the presence of 200 Fijian rugby players in various French rugby clubs.

Both the Fijian delegation and the French senators expressed willingness to maintain and advance dialogue between Fiji and France. Ratu Inoke concluded the meeting by formally inviting the Senators to visit Fiji to further strengthen and deepen bilateral relations. Senator Laufoaulu also extended an invitation for Ratu Inoke to visit Wallis & Futuna.

Senator Laufoaulu was accompanied by Senator Francois Commeinhes, Jean-Francois Longeot, Francois Pillet, Catherine Procaccia and Jean-Louis Tourenne.

 



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