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   Government of the Republic of Fiji

  Ministry of Foreign Affairs

    A Better Fiji through Excellence in Foreign Service

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Media Release

Foreign Affairs Minister, Ratu Inoke Kubuabola on Scouting Mission in Abu Dhabi

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13th May, 2012, Abu Dhabi: Fiji’s Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Minister, Ratu Inoke Kubuabola, is in Abu Dhabi and held discussions this afternoon with the Assistant Foreign Affairs Minister (Economic Affairs) of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Mr. Khalid Ghanim Al Ghaith.

During this visit, the Minister intends to identify suitable locations to accommodate Fiji’s Chancery and the residences for the two Fijian Diplomats. The Fiji Embassy in Abu Dhabi will be opened in August by Prime Minister Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama.

In his statement, Mr. Kubuabola thanked the UAE Government for its approval for Fiji to open its Embassy in Abu Dhabi and also for its kind offer to contribute 500,000 Dirhams towards this purpose.

Mr. Kubuabola stated that in the last three years, the Fijian Government has recognized the country’s need to expand its relations beyond its traditional partners.  Consequently, it has expanded its relations with the international community and also increased its representation in all regions of the world. 

The establishment of an Embassy in Abu Dhabi not only acknowledges the importance that Fiji places on its relations with the UAE but also with this region, Mr. Kubuabola added.

In response, Mr. Al Ghaith said that since Fiji established its diplomatic relations with UAE, economic activity has since doubled. The opening of an Embassy in Abu Dhabi would surely boost economic activities between the two countries. 

“To further capitalise on the opportunities in our relations, the UAE is keen to enter into an agreement for an Open Sky Policy with Fiji.  This will boost the tourism sector in Fiji and increase connectivity between the two countries and sub-regions.
With the Policy in place, the UAE intends to link Fiji to countries in South America such as Chile, Peru or even Brazil which will be of great benefit to both Fiji and the UAE,” Mr. Al Ghaith said.

Minister Kubuabola also mentioned that Air Pacific, Fiji’s local airline, is currently undergoing some reforms with the view to revamping its operations. It was suggested the possibility of one of the UAE Airlines, Emirates or Etihad to buy shares in Air Pacific.

Mr. Kubuabola will be in Abu Dhabi until the 17th May and will also be visiting the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) which is headquartered in Abu Dhabi.  Fiji became a member of the Agency in November 2010.
(Photo caption 1: Minister Kubuabola presenting a Fiji souvenir gift to UAE Assistant Foreign Minister (Economic Affairs) Mr Khalid Ghanim Al Ghaith; caption 2: Minister Kubuabola with UAE Assistant Foreign Minister (Economic Affairs) Mr Khalid Ghanim Al Ghaith and his officials.)