Samoa's High Commissioner presents credentials
Samoa’s first ever resident High Commissioner to Fiji, Ali’ioaiga Feturi Elisaia, has presented his credentials to Fiji’s President, Major General Jioji Konusi Konrote (retired).
A formal ceremony was held at the State House in Suva last Friday to mark the occasion and signalled the start of the career diplomat’s mission.
Ali’ioaiga presented his letter of credence addressed to Fiji’s President from His Highness, Tuimaleali’ifano Va’aletoa Sualauvi II, the Head of State accrediting him as the first resident High Commissioner of Samoa to the Republic of Fiji.
He also conveyed warm greetings and best wishes from Samoa’s Head of State to the President for the “good health and wellbeing and for the peace, prosperity and happiness of the people of Fiji.”
“March 5, 2021 will be etched in history as the day when Samoa and Fiji’s bilateral relations was elevated to another level,” said Ali’ioaiga.
He also highlighted in his remarks that the historical ceremony ushers in a new dawn in the Samoa-Fiji relations, which is anchored in mutual trust and respect, genuine friendship and people-to-people ties and bonded by a shared history as well as cultural, social and economic relationship.
Fiji, according to Ali’ioaiga, is already home to a growing Samoan community and the establishment of Samoa’s High Commission in Suva confirms the growing relationship between the two countries.
“Fiji is already the proud home to a vibrant and growing Samoan community, just as we have been blessed to welcome with open arms and grateful hearts all Fijians who have made Samoa their adopted country,” he said.
“Having a diplomatic presence in Fiji demonstrates Samoa’s renewed commitment to consolidate the mutually beneficial relationship that our countries have enjoyed over the years in various fields, including religion, education, sports, trade and investment.
“Working jointly, we can unlock development opportunities for expanded cooperation to further our shared goals and aspirations and to build ever-closer ties between Samoa and Fiji.”
He also added that the call for renewed partnership to boost diplomatic, trade and investment relations was the underlying message in discussions between Prime Ministers Frank Banimarama and Tuilaepa Dr. Sailele Malielegaoi during their official meeting in Suva in August 2018.
“The establishment of Samoa’s High Commission in Fiji is timely and bodes well for the joint implementation of our Leaders shared vision,” added Ali’ioaiga.
“I am deeply honoured and privileged to represent the Government and people of Samoa in Fiji during these complex, challenging and unparalleled times.
“I am comforted in the knowledge that Samoa and Fiji have long partnered, championed and advocated together on the regional and world stages, on many issues affecting our individual countries and our Pacific region as a whole.”
Ali’ioaiga also assured Fiji’s President that he is fully committed to working with the Fiji government at all levels.
“For my part, I fully commit during my tenure to work closely with the Fiji Government at all levels to build a resilient, more forward-looking partnership as the platform to advance and sustain our common agenda and deepen the already strong relations between our two countries and peoples.”
President Konrote congratulated Ali’ioaiga on his appointment and welcomed him to the country while wishing him a happy and successful mission.
He also assured Ali’ioaiga of the support of the Fiji government and expressed his hope that the existing relations between the two countries will be further enhanced during Ali’ioaiga’s term.
The High Commissioner’s presentation of credentials was preceded by an inspection of a 25-member guard of honour by officers of the Republic of Fiji Military Forces.
Ali’ioaiga is a senior career diplomat with Samoa’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade having been most recently Samoa’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations, and concurrently Ambassador to the United States of America and High Commissioner to Canada for over 16 years.
Samoa and Fiji established formal diplomatic relations on 10 November 1974.