Australian Prime Minister heads to Fiji
January 17, 2019 8:55 am
The Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison arrives in Fiji today for a two day official state visit having wrapped up a bilateral visit to Vanuatu.
This will be the first bilateral visit to Fiji by an Australian Prime Minister.
The Australian PM who is accompanied by his wife is scheduled to land in Nausori before midday where they will be presented with a Guard of Honour before a full traditional welcome ceremony is held at the Grand Pacific Hotel.
Following which, Prime Minister Morrison will pay a courtesy call on the President, Major General Retired Jioji Konrote at Borron House.
Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama will then hold bilateral talks with his Australian counterpart at the cabinet chambers.
In the late afternoon, Prime Minister Morrison will than attend a wreath laying ceremony at the National War Memorial before concluding day one with an official welcome dinner and reception.
The headline visit comes amid a resurgence in economic and diplomatic engagement between Fiji and Australia.
The trip comes also in the wake of the Australian government’s “Step Up” policy announced over a year ago in an effort to show Australia is taking the Pacific seriously.
The milestone visit is also being touted by some think tanks as a push by Australia to stem China’s growing influence in the region.
Meanwhile on day two of the official visit, Prime Minister Morrison is scheduled to deliver a speech at the University of the South Pacific as well cover site visits to the Fiji National University’s Samabula campus and the Blackrock project in Nadi.