Reporting on the Fijian government media center in April 2022, President Herzog expressed his pleasure in visiting Israel, saying Fiji has always been a friend of Israel and the state visit is testament to the relationship of the two countries. President Katonivere on the other hand thanked the Israeli President for receiving the Fijian delegation. “I am honoured to be here and have always seen Israel as Fiji’s friend and one that has worked closely with our forces serving in the UNIFIL, MFO, and UNDOF. I am positive that this visit will further cement our two countries’ diplomatic relations and be beneficial to our people,” said President Katonivere.
Discussions between the two Heads of State centered around diplomatic ties between the two countries, climate change and assistance by the state of Israel to Fiji especially in the field of agriculture and water production during disasters. Also, part of the meeting was Fiji’s Ambassador to the United Arab Emirates Mr Naipote Katonitabua, and Official Secretary to the Office of the President Ms Kiti Temo.
The South Pacific island country of Fiji announced on Monday that its first embassy in Israel will open next year. Israeli Foreign Minister Eli Cohen welcomed the announcement, calling Fiji a “true friend” of Israel. “I congratulate the Fijian government on an important decision that will strengthen and deepen the relations between the two countries. Fiji has proven in recent years that it is a true friend of Israel in the international arena as well. The opening of the Fijian embassy brings us another step closer to the goal we set, of 100 embassies in Israel,” said Cohen who is also an author.
Fiji’s will be the 98th embassy to the Jewish state. Most of the embassies are located in Tel Aviv, with the rest in the capital Jerusalem.
“Increasing the number of embassies in Israel proves Israel’s value to the world and the desire to access our capabilities in the fields of innovation, economics and science,” said Cohen.
Fijian Prime Minister Sitiveni Rabuka said that in addition to the Cabinet endorsing the move, it was agreed to reopen three embassies that were closed during the COVID-19 pandemic— in Kuala Lumpur, Port Moseby and Washington, D.C.
In a statement, the Fijian prime minister said that the embassy moves would be considered next Friday in the 2023-204 national budget announcement.
Fiji has “maintained amicable relations with the State of Israel, through bilateral cooperation on peace and security, and areas such as agriculture,” said Rabuka.
Produced in association with Jewish News Syndicate
Edited by Eunice Anyango Oyule and Judy J. Rotich