In an effort to continue to strengthen governance and enhance Cabinet’s performance, Fiji’s Prime Minister Sitiveni Rabuka has announced a minor reshuffle within the People’s Coalition Government’s administration.

Deputy Speaker of the House and Assistant Minister for Housing and Local GovernmentLenora Qereqeretabua will be re-assigned as Assistant Minister in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Prime Minister Rabuka is confident that this portfolio adjustment will ensure that there is renewed focus on the work of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Meanwhile, France looks forward to mobilise more assistance for Fiji in support of the People’s Coalition Government’s commitment to promote economic sustainability and inclusivity.

This was conveyed to the Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs, Sitiveni Rabuka at an introductory call from the French Ambassador for the Indo-Pacific, Marc Abensour.

During a meeting held at the Office of the Prime Minister (OPM) Monday, Prime Minister Rabuka welcomed Ambassador Marc.

The French Ambassador to Fiji François-Xavier Léger was also present at this meeting.

Prime Minister Rabuka thanked France for the ongoing cooperation with Fiji in areas such as climate change and oceans, trade and investment, defence and security, humanitarian assistance and people to people links.

He reaffirmed Fiji’s commitment to work closely with France in building a resilient and stronger future for the mutual benefit of the two nations and its peoples.

Prime Minister Rabuka acknowledged the French Foreign Legion’s recent support during the Ratu Sukuna national celebrations and their partnership in the areas of Military and Technical cooperation.

He also welcomed opportunities for sports diplomacy with France which will host the Rugby World Cup, 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games, 2025 Rugby XIII World Cup.

On regional cooperation, Fiji-France will work closely in the build-up to the “France-Oceania Summit” to be held later in the year and also collaborate closely on the implementation of the 2050 Strategy for the Blue Pacific Continent.

In response, Ambassador Marc thanked Prime Minister Rabuka for the warm hospitality and opportunity to discuss Fiji and France cooperation.

“I was deeply honoured to pay a courtesy call to the Prime Minister Rabuka on the occasion of my first visit to Fiji. France is part of the Pacific family,” Ambassador Marc said.

“We discussed how our two countries building on our strong partnership could cooperate even further on key issues, such as on fight against climate change, maritime security on the Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR) and in line with the 2050 Strategy for the Blue Pacific Continent.”

While in Fiji, Ambassador Marc also met with senior officials from the Ministry of Fisheries, Republic of the Fiji Military Forces (RFMF), Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat (PIFS), the Pacific Community (SPC) and University of the South Pacific (USP).

Fiji and France relations have continued to strengthen over the years through the KIWA Initiative; a multi-donor programme assisting Fiji and the Pacific region by building climate change resilience of the communities and economies through Nature-Based Solutions (NbS) and by protecting, sustainably managing and restoring biodiversity.