An official visit to Fiji by the United States Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, this week marks a powerful step in advancing the United States’ relations with Fiji and the Pacific.
The visit by Secretary Blinken is the first visit by a U.S Secretary of State to Fiji since 1985.
Acting Prime Minister and Attorney-General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum said Fiji looks forward to this visit as an opportunity to deepen Fiji’s ties with the United States in a number of areas including security, climate change, oceans, trade, and economic partnerships.
“We’ve welcomed the USA back to the Paris Agreement and the campaign for climate action. Now, we’re looking forward to welcoming a US Secretary of State to Fiji for the first time in nearly four decades. The American people and their leadership belong at the heart of our Blue Pacific neighbourhood and we’re keen for strengthened engagement with the USA that opens blue and green possibilities across the region,” said Attorney General, Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum.
The Acting PM said that as longstanding partners, Fiji and the United States have been working more closely than ever in forging partnerships for peace and sustainable development.
During his visit to Fiji on 12 February, Secretary Blinken will have a bilateral meeting with the senior officials of the Fijian Government.
A virtual meeting with Pacific Leaders will also be convened and co-hosted by Fiji and the United States. This meeting is expected to discuss the United States engagement with Pacific Island Countries on climate change, COVID-19 recovery and disaster assistance and advancement of our shared commitment to democracy, regional solidarity, and prosperity in the Pacific.
Both the Prime Minister Bainimarama and Attorney General had extensive interactions with the United States Government at COP26 in Glasgow, Scotland, UK. The visit by Secretary Blinken will be an opportunity to shape the United States future engagement in support of the Pacific Island countries.
Secretary Blinken will also meet Fijians, members of Pacific Civil Society, and businesses during this visit
In Australia on 09 – 12 February 9-12, Secretary Blinken will attend the fourth Quad Foreign Ministers Ministerial Meeting, hosted by Australian Foreign Minister Marise Payne.
“With our Quad partners, we are delivering results for our populations and the region, including by advancing cooperation on COVID-19 vaccination delivery, humanitarian assistance/disaster relief, maritime security, counter-terrorism, cybersecurity, countering disinformation, climate change, and critical and emerging technologies.
Secretary Blinken will meet with Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison, Foreign Minister Payne, Japanese Minister for Foreign Affairs Hayashi Yoshimasa, Indian Minister of External Affairs Subrahmanyam Jaishankar, and other senior officials to discuss a range of bilateral and global priorities. The Secretary will also engage with students, scholars, and technology leaders in Melbourne.
In Honolulu, Hawaii, Secretary Blinken will host Japanese Foreign Minister Hayashi and Republic of Korea Foreign Minister Chung Eui-yong for a U.S.-Japan-Republic of Korea Trilateral Ministerial Meeting to deepen our cooperation in addressing threats from the DPRK’s nuclear and missile programs and confronting 21st century challenges together across the globe. Secretary Blinken also will meet with Foreign Minister Chung and, separately, with USINDOPACOM Commander Admiral John Aquilino.
SOURCE: FIJI GOVT/ U.S GOVT/ PACNEWS