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Pacific Islands ministers to attend multilateral meetings

By Maika Bolatiki SUVA, Fiji (Fiji Sun, Feb 1, 2012) – Fiji is hosting a top-level meeting between Russia and the Pacific Island Countries (PICs) Foreign Ministers in Nadi today.

Representing Russia will be the Foreign Minister, Sergey Lavrov.

Mr. Lavrov will arrive at the Nadi International Airport in a private jet at 2:20pm today.

The Minister for Foreign Affairs, Ratu Inoke Kubuabola, told the Fiji Sun yesterday that before the PICs Foreign Ministers multilateral meeting, Mr. Lavrov would pay a courtesy call on Fiji’s Prime Minister, Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama.

After his courtesy call, Mr. Lavrov will then have a bilateral meeting with Ratu Inoke.

"Tomorrow afternoon he will pay a courtesy call on the Prime Minister then have a bilateral meeting with me," Ratu Inoke said yesterday.

Soon after this bilateral meeting, Ratu Inoke said the multilateral meeting with PICs Foreign Ministers would follow.

"After that then Mr. Lavrov will have a multilateral meeting with PICs Foreign Ministers."

[PIR editor’s note: Fiji and Russia have also recently agreed to develop a visa-free travel scheme between the two countries. Lavrov said less than 800 Russians visit Fiji annually and his visit is aimed at establishing "regular political dialogue" and "expand[ed] interaction in international affairs."]

In the evening, Ratu Inoke will host PICs Foreign Ministers to a dinner. Ratu Inoke confirmed that Mr. Lavrov would be accorded traditional Fijian ceremonies of welcome by members of the Republic of Fiji Military Forces based in Nadi.

He said all meetings would be at Nadi because Minister Lavrov’s private jet could not land in Nausori.

Ratu Inoke said his bilateral meeting with Mr. Lavrov would be good for Fiji.

Mr. Lavrov leaves Fiji at 9am tomorrow.


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