Australian Minister Visits Vanuatu, Emphasizes Strong Ties

Meetings strengthened bilateral relationship

By Glenda Willie

PORT VILA, Vanuatu (Vanuatu Daily Post, August 19, 2016) – Vanuatu has a very close relationship with Australia. Australian’s Minister for International Development and the Pacific Concetta Fierravanti-Wells re-emphasized the strong ties shared between the two countries during her visit in Vanuatu.

She told local media, “It’s a very good relationship and relationship of good neighbours.

“As a good neighbour, we want to assist and we are there to assist and work with the Vanuatu Government, and respect the sovereignty of Vanuatu to achieve our common goals which are a strong stable and prosperous Vanuatu for the betterment of its people.”

Reiterating Australian’s long-term commitment to Vanuatu, the Senator also acknowledged Australia’s support to Vanuatu during Pam until now that Vanuatu is in the recovery phase.

She announced that she was pleased to hear from various leaders words of acknowledgement to the Australian Government for continuous assistance in Vanuatu in a range of areas, including the education sector, the agricultural sector, the health sector, projects aiming at empowering women and many more.

Senator Fierravanti-Wells had the opportunity to meet a wide range of Vanuatu government ministers and officials, including Prime Minister Charlot Salwai, Minister of Foreign Affairs Bruno Leingkone, Finance Minister Gaetan Pikioune, Infrastructure Minister, Jotham Napat, Justice Minister Ronald Warsal and Parliamentary Secretary Johnny Koanapo.

These meetings provided an opportunity to further strengthen the bilateral relationship.

When asked if the Vanuatu Prime Minister may be welcomed to visit Australia, the Minister for the Pacific responded, “We are very keen for regional leaders to interact and of course at the appropriate time and at a mutually convenient time.

“I’m sure that from time to time various leaders from the pacific will come to Australia.”

Vanuatu Daily Post
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