Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday met with leaders of several Pacific island countries, including with his Fijian counterpart and Palau’s president, as part of India’s efforts to boost ties with these nations. Modi arrived here on Sunday on his maiden visit to Papua New Guinea to host a key summit between India and 14 Pacific island countries to boost bilateral ties.
On the sidelines of the Forum for India-Pacific Islands Cooperation (FIPIC) summit, he held bilateral meetings and interactions. During Modi’s meeting with Fijian counterpart Sitiveni Rabuka, the two leaders reviewed the close and multifaceted bilateral partnership.
“Delighted to meet PM @slrabuka of Fiji. We had a great conversation on various topics. The relations between India and Fiji have stood the test of time. We look forward to working together to further cement it in the coming years,” the Prime Minister tweeted. “Furthering a relationship anchored in deep historical bonds. PM@narendramodi met PM @slrabuka of Fiji on the sidelines of the FIPIC III Summit. Leaders reviewed the close and multifaceted bilateral partnership. Expressed satisfaction at the progress in key sectors. Also exchanged views on regional and global issues of common interest,” the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) tweeted.
On behalf of the President of Fiji, Rabuka bestowed the Prime Minister with Fiji’s highest honour – the Companion of the Order of Fiji (CF). “PM dedicated the honour to the people of India and to the generations of Fiji-Indian community, who have played a key role in the special and enduring bond between the two countries,” the MEA said.
He also held a “wonderful meeting” with President Surangel S Whipps, Jr of the Republic of Palau on the sidelines of the FIPIC Summit. Whipps presented Modi with an Ebakl, one of the most important tools for the people of Palau. Ebaki has a strong link with the local culture. It also symbolises leadership and wisdom, MEA said on Twitter.
“Humbled by the gesture of President Surangel Whipps Jr. of presenting me with an Ebakl, which is of great cultural significance among the people of Palau. I will greatly cherish this,” the prime minister tweeted.Prime Minister Modi had a great meeting with Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare of the Solomon Islands on the sidelines of the FIPIC Summit.He also met President Russ Joseph Kun of the Republic of Nauru.
“We had a wonderful discussion,” Modi tweeted. He said he held a “great conversation” with Prime Minister Siaosi Sovaleni of the Kingdom of Tonga on the sidelines of the FIPIC Summit.”Happy to have interacted with PM Kausea Natano of Tuvalu at the FIPIC Summit in Papua New Guinea,” Modi tweeted.
He said he held fruitful deliberations with Prime Minister Fiame Naomi Mataafa of Samoa on ways to boost bilateral ties.”From Japan to Papua New Guinea, the conversations continue… Great to see PM Mark Brown of Cook Islands yet again,” the prime minister tweeted.
Modi also met Prime Minister Alatoi Ishmael Kalsakau of Vanuatu in Papua New Guinea.”India attaches great importance to stronger ties with Vanuatu,” he tweeted, He also interacted with President Taneti Maamau of the Republic of Kiribati today.”We discussed various subjects aimed at enhancing the relationship between our nations,” Modi tweeted.
“Good to have met the Secretary General of the PIF, Mr. Henry Puna today,” the prime minister said. He also met Minister Kitlang Kabua of the Republic of Marshall Islands. “Happy to have met Mr. Dalton Emani Makamau Tagelagi, Premier of Niue. We had a fruitful conversation on several topics,” the prime minister said.