Australia has conveyed the unwavering support and appreciation for the People’s Coalition Government’s commitment to advance Fiji’s socioeconomic development priorities.

This message was conveyed to the Assistant Minister for Foreign Affairs Lenora Qereqeretabua during an introductory call received from the Chargé d’affaires of the Australia High Commission, Stuart Watts.

The meeting looked at opportunities to upgrade Fiji and Australia’s partnerships in areas such as labour mobility, economy, trade and investment, tourism, defence and security, climate change and oceans.

Qereqeretabua welcomed the recent announcement on Australia’s new High Commissioner Ewen McDonald to Fiji and Australia’s inaugural Special Envoy for the Pacific and Regional Affairs.

She said the Fiji Ministry of Foreign Affairs will work closely with McDonald and the Australian High Commission to increase the levels of cooperation.

In acknowledging the Australian Government’s ongoing support to Fiji, Qereqeretabua said as Pacific Vuvale we share great bonds of friendship and aspirations to build strong future for the peoples of our two nations.

She said Fiji looks forward to the first strategic review of the Vuvale Partnership to be undertaken later this year at the Senior Officials Meeting, to realign the areas of engagements.

Qereqeretabua reiterated Prime Minister Sitiveni Rabuka’s commitment to regional solidarity and cooperation for the upcoming 52nd Pacific Islands Forum (PIF) Leaders meeting to be held in Cook Islands this November.

In response, Watts congratulated Qereqeretabua for assumption of her new ministerial role and reaffirmed Australia’s continued support for Fiji.

“Under her stewardship, we are confident we can take the Australia and Fiji Vuvale Partnership to new heights and work together to build a peaceful, and prosperous region,” Watts said.

Fiji and Australia’s cooperation levels have increased following a visit by the Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese to Fiji in March this year.