France to open defence mission in Fiji

December 8, 2023 12:30 pm

Defence Minister Pio Tikoduadua (left), Minister of the Armed Forces Sébastien Lecornu [Source: Supplied]

A defence mission will soon open at the French Embassy in Fiji.

This was revealed at the South Pacific Defence Ministers Meeting held earlier this week in Nouméa, France.

Representing the French Ministry for the Armed Forces in Fiji, the defence mission will be tasked with strengthening exchanges on defence policy and military cooperation.

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It will be the second defence mission established in the South Pacific region, following that in Canberra, Australia.

During the meeting, an agreement was also signed on defence cooperation and the status of forces by Sébastien Lecornu, Minister for the Armed Forces, and his Fijian counterpart, Pio Tikoduadua.

The two ministers wished to enhance the framework of their security and defence cooperation, while respecting the sovereignty of both countries.

Lecornu, also signed a Status of Forces Agreement alongside Tikoduadua.

This legal agreement facilitates defence relations and provides a framework for cooperation activities such as visits, the sharing of experience, joint activities in the field of research and armament, advice to the Republic of Fiji Military Forces through training and support actions, emergency assistance, among others.