Between the Lines

BTL: 22nd May, 2019

When Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison visited Fiji earlier this year he made a number of major announcements to further strengthen the sports links between Australia and Fiji.
22 May 2019 14:09
BTL: 22nd May, 2019

Visa free access?

When Fiji and the European Union (EU) meet in Suva next year for the next Political Dialogue, BTL hopes by then Fiji would be included in the list of countries with visa-free access to the Schengen area.

In the last two years, EU has been saying it will consider it.

In their meeting at Brussels, Belgium, on May 2019 under the co-chairmanship of Fiji’s Foreign Minister Inia Seruiratu the EU side said “it would give due consideration,” according to a EU statement.

The EU and Fiji noted that since May 1, Fiji citizens intending to travel to Germany can submit their applications for Schengen visas in Suva. Fiji reported on progress made in its discussions with other EU member states on a similar scheme that would allow for the processing of applications for Schengen visas in Suva, providing for visits to these EU member states.

The strange thing about the EU Schengen States is the bias against Fijians while others like Kiribati, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu and Vanuatu citizens get visa waivers.

What about NZ, Aust?

Still on visa free access, What about a similar proposal to Australia and New Zealand.

If their people do not need a visa to visit Fiji, it’s only fair that they return the favour when we travel to them. We have more historical links and relationships that bind us together more than the EU.

Morrison true to his words

When Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison visited Fiji earlier this year he made a number of major announcements to further strengthen the sports links between Australia and Fiji.

In particular, Mr Morrison, a rugby league fan, announced support for Fiji’s bid to enter a team in the NSW Rugby League competition, and for pre-season NRL matches to be played in Fiji in 2021.  More recently, the NRL announced that the Prime Minister’s XIII match will be played in Fiji this year against the Bati.

To help prepare for these events and build greater awareness of the Fiji-Australia links in rugby league, the Australian High Commissioner to Fiji John Feeks has announced that a team of Fijian sports journalists will be part of a four-day visit to Sydney, Australia.

Mr Feeks says the visit is timed around the 2019 Pacific Test Invitational on Saturday 22 June, which will feature a men’s match between Fiji and Lebanon, as well as the inaugural women’s match between Fiji and PNG. The journalists will travel to Australia from June 20-23.  All costs of the visit will be covered by the Australian Government.

During the visit, journalists will have the opportunity to visit the NRL Headquarters to learn about the impact Fijians are having on the game in Australia, and meet with Australian rugby league journalists.  Australian-Fijian rugby league great, Petero Civoniceva, has also kindly offered to host the journalists during the annual Petero Civoniceva Awards Night on 21 June. To ensure the journalists are generating content while in Australia, Fiji NRL will work closely with the selected journalists in the leadup and during the tournament.

Feedback: selita.bolanavanua@fijisun.com.fj




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