Penny Wong visit to Kiribati, Fiji and attend Pacific Islands Forum Special Leaders’ retreat

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-Australian foreign Minister Penny Wong will travel to Kiribati this week on her first visit as Foreign Minister, and Fiji, where she will represent Prime Minister Anthony Albanese at the Pacific Islands Forum Special Leaders’ retreat.

“In Kiribati I will meet with President Taneti Maamau and cabinet ministers.

“Earlier this month I was honoured to welcome President Maamau to Adelaide. In Tarawa we will build on our discussions about Kiribati’s strategic, economic and development priorities and ways to take meaningful action on climate change together.

“In Fiji I will meet with Prime Minister, Sitiveni Rabuka and members of his government, to discuss how we can enhance and grow our important Vuvale Partnership.

At the Pacific Islands Forum Special Leaders’ Meeting in Nadi, I look forward to engaging with Pacific leaders as we work towards our shared regional vision for the Blue Pacific Continent,” Wong said in a statement.

“The Pacific is stronger when we are united. Australia looks forward to welcoming Kiribati back to the Pacific Islands Forum family.

“The Pacific Islands Forum is central to our shared interest in a region which is stable, prosperous and respectful of sovereignty.

“I am keen to hear from leaders about how we can work together to tackle the climate crisis, strengthen our economies post-pandemic, and achieve our shared interests in a peaceful and secure region.

This will be my ninth visit to the Pacific as Foreign Minister, demonstrating Australia’s commitment to working with the Pacific as a whole, said Wong.

SOURCE: AUST GOVT/PACNEWS