Fiji PM focuses on strengthened defence cooperation in UK visit

Line of Defence Magazine - Update

Fiji PM Rabuka seeks enhanced defence cooperation and broader lens security. Image: Fiji Government.

Fiji Prime Minister Sitiveni Rabuka has met with the UK’s defence and foreign ministers seeking enhanced cooperation and stressing need for “Ocean of Peace” in the Indo-Pacific.

Fiji seeks to strengthen collaboration with the United Kingdom (UK), particularly in areas of counter-terrorism, cyber defence, protection of critical infrastructure and cooperation in maritime security. That’s according to a Fiji Government update on Prime Minister Rabuka’s UK visit.

Meeting with UK Secretary of State For Defence Grant Shappes in on 08 May 2024, the Prime Minister stated that renewed cooperation would boost ongoing protection of Fiji’s maritime space, including enhancing capabilities and exchange of information on defence and security matters.

The PM acknowledged Royal Navy vessels HMS Tamar and HMS Spey, which are currently on a long-term deployment to the region – and surveilling Fiji waters in cooperation with the Fiji Navy.

“Our largest security threat lies in the prospect of a region which is riven by division, insecurity and instability. Therefore, contributing to a stable region is Fiji’s highest strategic priority.”

He also made reference to Fiji’s national security and defence policy, stating that the document is a holistic assessment, “encompassing not only our military capabilities but also the broader dimensions of Fiji’s economic security, cybersecurity, environmental security, and human security, as a means to enhance national stability.”

The meeting also focused on transnational crime, hydrographic skills for Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) monitoring, and shipbuilding and ship maintenance.

As part of elevated bilateral defence cooperation, the UK Defence Ministry acknowledged the importance of Blackrock Peacekeeping and Humanitarian & Disaster Relief Camp in Nadi and expressed interest in supporting its refurbishment and expansion.

Rabuka meets with UK foreign minister David Cameron. Image: Fiji Government.

PM Rabuka also met with UK Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, David Cameron, in London. He highlighted that Fiji “will continue to stand up for the international system in the Indo-Pacific region.”

“Our largest security threat lies in the prospect of a region which is riven by division, insecurity and instability,” he said. “Therefore, contributing to a stable region is Fiji’s highest strategic priority.

“Fiji has traditional friends. The largest contribution Fiji can make to a stable balance in the broader Indo-Pacific is to focus on the challenges of peace and security in our Pacific neighbourhood and the best way to do this is by pursuing the objective of an Ocean of Peace in the Pacific.”


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