The President of the Republic of the Fiji Islands, His Excellency Jioji Konrote couldn’t have been more honoured to celebrate 56 years of Samoa’s independence.
It’s his first time on Samoa’s shores and also a first for a President of Fiji to be present at the Independence Day celebration.
Mr. Konrote was hosted to a traditional welcoming ceremony by the Samoan Fijian community at the University of the South Pacific, Alafua Campus fale yesterday. Also present was the first lady and his delegation.
Mr. Konrote mentioned the deep relations the two island nations’ share, which punches above their weight. From climate change, shared economic, social and political interests, he said both Samoa and Fiji play a vital role in the Pacific region.
“The nations of the Pacific stand shoulder to shoulder with you on this day, which is also a celebration of our friendship and solidarity in the face of our many collective challenges, whether it is climate change, the health of our oceans or our duty to provide sustainable development for all our people."
“We naturally look to Samoa as a vital partner in helping us to meet these challenges,” he said.
“For all our challenges, we look to the future with optimism, knowing that unity, focus, a sense of purpose and sticking together as nations and as people will pull us through."
“And we share the joy of the Samoan people in the achievements of the Samoan nation over the past 56 years and our confidence that even greater days lie ahead. Whatever happens, you can count on the friendship and support of Fiji and of all of your other neighbours whose representatives are present here today.”
The President and his delegation depart for Fiji today.