In a media statement, Australia’s Minister of Defence has re-affirmed a commitment to maritime security and to strengthening Defence cooperation with Fiji in the areas of humanitarian assistance and disaster relief, peacekeeping, engineering initiatives and land forces.
In Perth yesterday for the first official Australia-Fiji Defence Ministers’ meeting, the Hon Inia Seruiratu, Fiji’s Minister for National Security, Defence and Foreign Affairs, met with Australian counter-parts. This dialogue, which is to be held annually, underscores the strength of security cooperation, seen as a fundamental pillar of the Fiji-Australia Vuvale Partnership signed by Prime Ministers Morrison and Bainimarama in Canberra in September.
The Vuvale Partnership marks a new era of elevated cooperation based on trust, respect and understanding, and the inaugural Defence Ministers’ Meeting provides us with a forum to engage as partners and family.
In her release, Senator Linda Reynolds stated, “Our maritime cooperation will be further enhanced by the delivery of Fiji’s Guardian-class Patrol Boat in March 2020, under the Morrison Government’s $2 billion Pacific Maritime Security Program, as well as major upgrades to the Stanley Brown Wharf in Suva to support this new vessel. Australia is also supporting Fiji’s defence facilities through the redevelopment of Blackrock Camp in Nadi and the design of the Maritime Essential Services Centre in Suva.”