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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 PAYS COURTESY CALL ON INDONESIAN MINISTRY OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS

MFAIC_-_Indoneisa_MinistryMinister Kubuabola being welcomed at Indonesian MOFA by Minister Natalegawa

Fiji’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Ratu Inoke Kubuabola paid a courtesy call on Indonesia’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Dr. Marty Natalegawa at 1000 on 06 April 2011 to discuss matters of mutual interest.

Minister Natalegawa welcomed the Minister to Indonesia, noting that they had last met in December 2010 in Bali for the Bali Democracy Forum. Minister Natalegawa said he was encouraged by the increased momentum in cooperation and exchanges between Indonesia and Fiji, not just at the bilateral level but also through the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) and Indonesia’s recent accession to the Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG) as an observer.

Ministers exchanged views on avenues of increased bilateral cooperation, including a Development Cooperation Agreement (DCA) under development between the two countries. Ministers agreed that the DCA should be ready for signing soon, possibly in the margins of the NAM meeting in May 2011 in Jakarta which Minister Kubuabola will be attending. In anticipation of the DCA coming into force, Ministers agreed that cooperation envisaged therein could already be set into motion so as to maintain the momentum of increased bilateral cooperation. In particular, areas of interest such as Agriculture, Fisheries and Tourism could be developed, with a clear focus on tangible programmes.

Ministers also discussed Fiji’s Roadmap  towards elections in 2014 in relation to the Strategic Framework for Change, with Minister Natalegawa emphasising that democracy is a process rather than an event, and that Indonesia stands ready to assist Fiji in any way possible in its clear roadmap.  Upon explanation of the roadmap by Minister Kubuabola, Minister Natalegawa noted that the roadmap contained clear steps towards the elections in 2014 and represented a homegrown process in line with discussions at 2010’s Bali Democracy Forum. He further stated that Indonesia would be happy to share its experiences of domestic reform for sustainable democracy with Fiji.

In closing, Minister Natalegawa reiterated to Minister Kubuabola that Indonesia sees in Fiji only potentials, not problems, and hopes that mutual cooperation can open up South East Asia to Fiji, and the Pacific to Indonesia. Minister Kubuabola reiterated his invitation for Minister Natalegawa to visit Fiji, and Minister Natalegawa responded saying that he hoped to do so soon, having just missed the opportunity of being there for the MSG Summit due to other commitments.

Minister Kubuabola was accompanied by Ambassador-Designate H.E. Seremaia T. Cavuilati, Chargé d’Affaires Pauliasi Tokasaya, and Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Official Ms. Namita Khatri.