Government of the Republic of Fiji
Ministry of Foreign Affairs
A Better Fiji through Excellence in Foreign Service
His Excellency the President Ratu Epeli Nailatikau is visiting Fiji soldiers serving with the Multinational Force & Observers in Sinai arriving there on Monday 13th June 2011.
On Monday 13 June, 2011 His Excellency Ratu Epeli Nailatikau arrived in Tel Aviv on Monday afternoon and flew straight to Sinai on a US Black Hawk helicopter.
He arrived in Sinai at around 5pm and was accorded a 100 men Guard of Honour by men of the Fiji Second Battalion serving in Sinai with the Multinational Force and Observers (MFO).
Major Pita Mataki who once served as Aide de Camp to the President was the Parade Commander.
This was immediately followed by a briefing at the MFO Force HQ under the command of Force Commander, Major General Warren Whiting.
The Force Commander spoke highly of our boys and commended them for their professionalism and experience in dealing with peacekeeping duties, the very reason they have been deployed to serve in the most challenging part of the Sinai region.
Men of the Fiji Batt performed a traditional ceremony of welcome to the President and followed by a dinner with all men of the Fiji Battalion at the other ranks dining hall.
On Tuesday 14 June, 2011 Ratu Epeli met with officers at the Fiji Batt HQ where he was briefed on the operation of the Fiji Battalion.
His Excellency Ratu Epeli visited the Fiji Battalion area of operation in the southern region.
He met with Fijian soldiers manning these outposts and conveyed to them the warm regards and best wishes from their loved ones and everyone in Fiji.
The soldiers looked well and were extremely happy to meet and talk with the President and took pictures with him.
Ratu Epeli was pleased with their living condition and general welfare. All locations have internet and skype facilities and the boys have no problem contacting their loved ones in Fiji.
The visit to these isolated locations boosted the confidence and morale of our soldiers and strengthened their resolve to serve in such an unstable and challenging environment.
The MFO Force Commander hosted a dinner in honour of His Excellency and officers of the Fiji Battalion. Ratu Epeli had a Talanoa session with the men of the Fiji Battalion that went late into the night.
On Wednesday 15 June, 2011 Ratu Epeli in his briefing with officers of the Fiji Batt reminded them of their loyalty to the Force Commander.
And that their role has never changed although there have been significant changes in terms of infrastructural development and improvement to their living condition and general welfare.
This is thanks to MFO's commitment to improving the living conditions of the soldiers and to ensure that morale and discipline are maintained all the time and that they perform to the best of their ability.
Ratu Epeli had a photo session with officers and NCOs of the Fiji Battalion.
The President continued with his visitations to the Fiji Batt operation area; this time to locations in the northern region. Again the boys were extremely happy to meet and talk with the President who conveyed the best wishes of their loved ones and the people at home.
He shared some light moments with the boys, an experience they will always treasure.
A farewell church service was held in the evening to farewell His Excellency and delegation.
In his address, Ratu Epeli again reminded soldiers not to be complacent because of praises and commendation heaped upon them but to continue to strive to serve to the best of their ability and to demonstrate loyalty to the MFO Force Commander and commitment and trust in the discharge of their duties.
The evening ended with a farewell dinner hosted by the CO and members of the RFMF 2nd Battalion and a social evening together with the President at the main hall.
Other company commanders of the MFO member contingents also attended the farewell dinner.
Ministry of Foreign Affairs P. O. Box 2220 Government Buildings Suva, Fiji