NEWS

PM Invites Netanyahu To Visit Fiji

Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama has extended an invitation to his Israeli counterpart Benjamin Netanyahu and his family to visit Fiji. He made the invitation while meeting Mr Netanyahu in Jerusalem
09 Nov 2016 11:23
PM Invites  Netanyahu To Visit Fiji
From left: Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama and his wife Mary Bainimarama with the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his wife Sara Netanyahu at the at Israeli Prime Minister’s residence in Jerusalem. Photo: Kobi Gideon, GPO

Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama has extended an invitation to his Israeli counterpart Benjamin Netanyahu and his family to visit Fiji.

He made the invitation while meeting Mr Netanyahu in Jerusalem yesterday as part of his state visit including to Israel and the Middle East to discuss Fiji’s contribution to United Nations Peacekeeping operations in the region.

Mr Bainimarama reiterated our commitment to the Israeli Prime Minister that they could always rely on Fiji in making lives better through peacekeeping duties.

“For 38 years – since 1978 – we have proudly provided our servicemen and women to serve in UN operations on the Israel-Syrian border and in Lebanon and Egypt,” he said.

“We may be a small island nation in the Pacific but we have always been determined to play our part in the global community.

“And part of that is helping to keep the peace for ordinary men and women in troubled parts of the world.”

Mr Bainimarama said as Fijians, we have always regarded the people of Israel as friends just as we do the citizens of its neighbours.

“We are here to help. We are here to keep the peace. And that commitment will continue now and in the years ahead,” he said.

Mr Bainimarama also called on the support of Israel in drawing global attention to the need for more decisive action on climate change.

Mr Netanyahu, while welcoming Mr Bainimarama, acknowledged the sentiments of our support and the actions in international forums.

“There is a bond between our two peoples. We appreciate the sentiments of support and the actions in international forums,” he said.

Mr Netanyahu thanked Mr Bainimarama for his support and joked that if peace talks were to take place in the island nation, he wouldn’t mind if they take an extra week.

After their meeting, Mr Bainimarama also visited Yad Vashem, Israel’s official memorial to the more than six million victims of the Holocaust and is also the country’s second-most-visited tourist site.

There Mr Bainimarama also attended a ceremony at the ‘Hall of Names’, where the round walls are covered with photos of victims of the Nazis, laying a wreath and lighting an “eternal flame” to commemorate them.

Later, Mr Bainimarama and his wife, Mary, were hosted to a dinner by Mr Netanyahu and his wife Sara at their residence.

Our bilateral relations with Israel were further strengthened with their recovery efforts after Tropical Cyclone Winston and their recent assistance in our agricultural sector.

Mr Bainimarama is expected to visit the Golan Heights and Lebanon to visit Fijian peacekeepers in the United Nations forces there.

Mr Bainimarama will go on to attend COP22, the United Nations Climate Change conference in Marrakesh, Morocco.

 

Edited by Maraia Vula

Feedback:  filipe.naigulevu@fijisun.com.fj



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