News 24 Feb 2020
New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern will touch down in Fiji tonight.
It is the first visit by a New Zealand Prime Minister in four years and also marks the 50th anniversary of the Pacific country's independence and diplomatic relations between Fiji and New Zealand.
"New Zealand and Fiji have enjoyed diplomatic relations since Fiji declared independence, half a century this year," Jacinda said.
"Fiji is our biggest trading partner in the Pacific, over 200,000 New Zealanders visit every year and it has a powerful voice on climate issues internationally."
Jacinda's visit in Fiji include meetings with Fiji's Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama, engagements with university students, Fijian women leaders in government, business and society. She will also pay respects at the Lautoka Jame Masjid to the three Fijian nationals killed in the terror attacks of March 15 2019.
On Thursday 27 February, the Prime Minister will travel to Australia for the annual Australia-New Zealand Leaders' Meeting (ANZLM) and to meet with Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison.
“Prime Minister Morrison and I are in regular contact, but it’s always valuable to sit down in person to discuss the broad range of issues on which our countries work so closely,” Jacinda Ardern said.
“This year’s meeting will be an opportunity for us to acknowledge the strong spirit of Trans-Tasman cooperation that has helped bring us through some very difficult times over the past twelve months, including as we responded to devastating events in Christchurch and on Whakaari/White Island as well the terrible bushfires in Australia. And of course we are now currently working closely together in our response to Covid-19.”
Image: Fiji's Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama and NZ Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern. Source: RNZ