Fiji’s Prime Minister Sitiveni Rabuka met with King Charles III at Buckingham Palace in London on Monday this week.

The historic meeting reaffirmed the strong and enduring relationship between Fiji and the United Kingdom (UK).
In his royal audience with His Majesty King Charles III, Prime Minister Rabuka conveyed the People’s Coalition Government and the people of Fiji’s gratitude for the opportunity to meet with the King, acknowledging the historical links between Fiji and the UK.

Rabuka also took the opportunity to formally apologise to King Charles III for his actions and the events of 1987, reaffirming Fiji’s commitment to strengthening our bilateral ties.

PM Rabuka also reflected on his visit to Buckingham Palace in 1998 when he presented his traditional apology or Matanigasau to her late Majesty, Queen Elizabeth the Second for the events of 1987 and in declaring Fiji a Republic.

Fiji has a deep and longstanding connection to the British Crown which is demonstrated through a record of military service where generations of Fijians have served and fought alongside the British, particularly in the Second World War, and later in Malaya, Borneo, Oman, Iraq and Afghanistan.

For this, Prime Minister Rabuka expressed the deep regard and fondness of the people of Fiji for the Crown and the Royal Family, adding that more than 20,000 of our people call Britain home since the recruitment of Commonwealth citizens to the British Army in the 1960s and since 1997.

As a proud Commonwealth member, Fiji actively contributes to the advancement of the Sustainable Development Agenda.

With the Commonwealth’s 75th anniversary approaching, PM Rabuka said that he looks forward to welcoming Commonwealth leaders to the region for the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in Samoa.

In his concluding remarks, Prime Minister Rabuka conveyed the best wishes, love and prayers of the people of Fiji for King Charles III’s recovery to full health and vitality.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Sitiveni Rabuka met with the Speaker of the House of Commons, Sir Lindsey Hoyle at the Speaker’s Chambers at Porticullis House within the Palace of Westminster on Tuesday.

The meeting was an opportunity to discuss parliamentary cooperation.

During the meeting, PM Rabuka informed the Speaker that the People’s Coalition Government is committed to strengthening the independence of Parliament, ensuring it carries out its function to hold the other two arms of Government, the Executive and Judiciary accountable.

He further stated that cooperation between the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA) and Government of Fiji, through Parliament offers great potential and opportunities for deeper collaboration.

The Parliament of Fiji has also established its Commonwealth Women Parliamentarians (CWP) group which has been of great utility for our Women MPs.

PM Rabuka reiterated that upholding the principles of Good Governance is pivotal in our current journey to continue to improve our democracy and strengthen our institutions.

From the Government perspective, PM Rabuka acknowledged the British Government’s continued support towards the Fiji Parliament.

The PM has also extended an invitation for the Speaker Lord Hoyle to visit Fiji sometime soon, perhaps on the margins of CHOGM24 later this year.