Fiji through its Mission in Abu Dhabi aspires to advance collaboration with the United Arab Emirates in the areas of mutual interests and benefit to both the nations.
This has been conveyed at the presentation of credentials by Fiji’s Ambassador to the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Naipote Katonitabua to the Vice President and Prime Minister of UAE, Minister of Defence, Ruler of the Emirates of Dubai, Sheik Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum at the Presidential Palace in Abu Dhabi, UAE.
While presenting his credentials, Ambassador Katonitabua conveyed the kind greetings of the President of Fiji, Major-General (Ret’d) Jioji Konusi Konrote and the people of Fiji, while also reaffirming Fiji’s commitment to strengthen the bilateral relations between the two nations.
Ambassador Katonitabua said he was deeply honoured and privileged to present his Letter of Credentials to one of the great leaders in the UAE and he looked forward for enhanced cooperation.
Fiji will capitalise on potential opportunities through its participation in the 2020 World Expo in Dubai and anticipation of the signing of key bilateral agreements between its two leaders on the Investment Promotion and Protection Cooperation Agreement, renewal of UAE-Fiji Defence Co-operation; Labour Mobility and Employment; Visa Free arrangement; Seafearers Cooperation; and Infrastructure Development memorandum of understanding (MOU) to name a few.
Ambassador Katonitabua also pledged his willingness to provide the best of his ability in elevating bilateral relations between the two nations to higher levels.
The UAE Government has supported Fiji in its pursuit towards alternative energy supply through the funding of the Lau, Kadavu and Rotuma (LAKARO) renewable energy project worth US$5m. It also provided support in 2020 for Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs) and medical equipment for the fight against COVID-19.
The UAE Government through Emirates Red Crescent Authority assisted Fiji with a sum of $6.3 million in the reconstruction of three schools in Fiji damaged by Tropical Cyclone Winston.
It also donated cash assistance of FJD $200,364 towards the rehabilitation and recovery efforts for TC Ana and Yasa.
Renewable energy solutions is also a strategic area of collaboration through which Fiji Mission in Abu Dhabi works in partnership with the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA).
Additionally, IRENA and UAE Mission to the International Renewable Energy Agency last year co-hosted the “Renewables Talk” focused on renewable energy in the global recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Fiji and the UAE have enjoyed 11 years of cordial relations since establishing diplomatic ties in March 2010. Fiji’s Embassy in Abu Dhabi was opened in September 2012.