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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

MINISTER KUBUABOLA MEETS UAE COUNTERPART

 

 Ist May, 2011, Abu Dhabi, UAE: Fiji’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ratu Inoke Kubuabola, met today with the Foreign Minister of the United Arab Emirates, His Highness Sheik Abdullah bin Zayed al Nahyan.  The meeting took place at the UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Abu Dhabi.

 

The visit to the UAE of Fiji’s Foreign Minister was described as a positive follow-on from the visit made by the UAE Foreign Minister to Fiji and other Pacific Island countries in 2010.  The ministerial meeting served as an opportunity to address issues arising from the Summit meeting of the Arab League and the Pacific Small Island Developing States (PSIDS) held in Abu Dhabi in June, 2010.

Progress was made on Summit matters including: the utilisation of development funding under the Partnership Programme for the Pacific established by the UAE in 2010, the holding of an Arab League-PSIDS Foreign Ministers meeting in the margins of the UN General Assembly in September 2011, and the establishment of an Arab League office in the Pacific Islands.

His Highness Sheik Abdullah expressed the UAE’s interest in investing in mining and tourism development projects in Fiji, and said this would need to go hand in hand with consideration of a double taxation agreement between the two countries.  His Highness also called for an “Open Skies” civil aviation policy in Fiji, so that the UAE’s international airlines could bring more tourists to Fiji.

The Foreign Ministers took the opportunity over lunch to exchange views on global political developments, particularly in relation to recent upheavals in Arab countries.  His  Highness Sheik Abdullah also asked about Fiji’s own political progress and Minister Kubuabola gave him an update on Fiji’s reform agenda and the preparations for constitutional change and general elections in 2014.

The Ministers agreed to talk again at the meeting of the Non-Aligned Movement at the end of the month in Indonesia, at which Fiji is to be admitted to NAM membership.

The Minister was accompanied to the UAE by Fiji’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Ambassador Peter Thomson, and Principal Administrative Officer Namita Khatri of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

(Caption: Minister Kubuabola and HH Sheik Abdullah)