UK Home Office Permanent secretary visits Fiji to affirm UK – Fiji partnerships

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UK Home Office Permanent secretary, Matthew Rycroft has met with Fijian government officials and partners during his visit to the Pacific nation.

He met Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum, Attorney General and Minister for Economy, Justice, Civil Service, Communications, Housing and Community Development; Inia Seruiratu, Minister for Defence, National Security, Policing, Rural and Maritime Development and Disaster Management and the Secretary General of the Pacific Islands Forum, Henry Puna.

Rycroft reiterated the UK’s long-term commitment to Fiji and the wider Pacific and set out his desire to work closely with the Government on shared challenges including climate security and transnational crime.

He highlighted the UK’s commitment at COP26 to provide a new £274m (US$316 million) Climate Action for a Resilience Asia (CARA) programme to support the Pacific

He announced that the UK is providing £15m for the Pacific region through its Conflict, Stability and Security Fund (CSSF) programme, which works in partnership with Pacific Island Countries to strengthen law and justice, maritime security, reduce conflict and corruption and promote open and inclusive societies.

Rycroft also highlighted the Royal Navy Offshore Patrol Vessels forward-deployed in the region, HMS Spey and Tamar, supporting Fiji to tackle Illegal Fishing and other maritime threats, alongside diverse engagement including sport, conservation and women’s empowerment.

Rycroft said, “I am pleased to be visiting Fiji and working to champion the issues which matter most to Pacific partners. We share history, values, and a determination to tackle global challenges. We have thousands of Fijian diaspora living in the UK, which is at the heart of the relationship between the two countries. It is these people-to-people ties that makes Fiji a particularly important partner for the UK.”

British High Commissioner to Fiji, Dr Brian Jones, said “On top of his National Security focus, PS Rycroft met USP students to discuss the growing Pacific impact of Russia’s brutal invasion of Ukraine. He also met senior Fiji police officers about to head to the UK to study and train with Greater Manchester Constabulary. This further strengthens our cooperation preserving and protecting international peace and the rule of law.

SOURCE: UK GOVT/PACNEWS