PM Bainimarama gets US Presidential invite

September 27, 2022 4:50 pm

Fijian Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama (from left), US President Joe Biden.

In another historic milestone for Fiji and the region, Fijian Prime Minister and his Pacific counterparts will hold the first-ever summit at the White House with US President Joe Biden.

The summit builds on almost a year of diplomacy by Voreqe Bainimarama, who was the first Pacific Leader to invite Biden to speak with Pacific Island Leader following his election as US President.

Biden has addressed the PIF Leader virtually, but this face-to-face meeting will help forge stronger partnerships in areas of interest.

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Speaking to FBC News from Washington this morning, Fiji’s Permanent Representative to United Nations, Ambassador Satyendra Prasad highlighted that this ¤Summit demonstrates the most serious and determined effort by the Pacific and the US to work together.

“For the first time ever, Prime Minister will be leading Pacific Island leaders into a full meeting, one and half day of summit meetings with the US government including the US President.”

Ambassador Prasad says Bainimarama visited the White House earlier this year upon an invitation by US Vice President, Kamala Harris, which laid the foundation for the summit, scheduled to take place later this week.

“This is the defining moment in the US, Fiji and Pacific relations. Following this summit there will be a far reaching expansion of our trade, economic, political, and security relationships between all our countries.”

He adds Fiji has a broad relationship with the US which it is looking forward to expanding.

“We want to increase our trade for ginger farmers, and turmeric farmers. US is a very exciting and a large market and we want to expand our presence across these areas for dalo farmers for those who can process food, whether canned tuna or anything liked that.”

Apart from this Fiji is also keen to significantly expand its tourism market in the US and forge better collaboration in the area of maritime security.

The last time a Fijian Prime Minister officially met a US President at the White House was in 1984 when the late Ratu Sir Kamisese Mara met the then US President Ronald Reagan.