India PM Offers Measures To Strengthen Partnership With Pacific

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Modi proposes regular India-Pacific Islands Cooperation Forum

By Reginald Chandar

SUVA, Fiji (Fijilive, Nov. 20, 2014) – Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has proposed that a Forum for India- Pacific Islands Cooperation (FIPIC) be held on a regular basis.

After meeting the leaders of the various Pacific Island nations in Suva during his one-day visit of Fiji yesterday, Modi said given the response he received, India is ready to host the next meeting in one of its coastal locations in 2015.

He said India has always been keen to work closely with Pacific Island Counties (PICs) to advance their development priorities and the meeting gave him a better flavour of their perceptions and priorities.

He also announced a number of measures to strengthen India’s partnership with the PICs.

These include:

The Prime Minister was officially welcomed at Albert Park before signing a number of Memorandum of Understanding with the Fijian Government and addressing Members of the Parliament.

[PIR editor’s note: Radio Australia reported that ‘Fiji's main opposition party has boycotted a historic speech by India's prime minister Narendra Modi to the country's parliament. ... The leader of the Social Democratic Liberal Party (SODELPA), Ro Teimumu Kepa, said she stayed away after the government reneged on an invitation for her to give a vote of thanks to Mr Modi. ... Ms Kepa also said opposition MPs were not allowed to meet with the Indian prime minister.’]

He then met the leaders of Pacific Island countries and later in the evening, he addressed member of the civil society at the Fiji National University's Nasinu campus before retiring for a state dinner and then flying out of the country around 10pm.

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