Foreign Minister Ratu Inoke Kubuabola (Photo:Fiji Govt)
The Fijian Foreign Minister, Ratu Inoke Kubuabola gave a speech to the 20th Australia Fiji Business Forum in Australia, earlier in the week.
He serves up some cold hard facts to Australia, that apply as much here as they do to Australia. He is particularly harsh on Kevin Rudd’s immigration policy to send illegal boat people to Papua New Guinea, and on the ongoing interference in Fijian internal politics by Australia and New Zealand.
It also signals a Pacific Revolt against the interference os Australia and New Zealand.
Ni Sa Bula Vinaka and Good Morning.
At the outset, please allow me to acknowledge the traditional owners of the land on which we meet today and pay respects to their elders, both past and present.
I’m delighted – as Fiji’s Foreign Minister – to be here today for this important gathering of those of you who drive the economic links between our two countries and contribute so much to our prosperity. It’s especially pleasing to see the Australian Government represented here at a senior level by the Pacific Islands Minister, Senator Thistlethwaite. Relations between Australia and its Pacific neighbours are at a critical juncture and we have much to discuss While Senator Thistlethwaite is relatively new to his portfolio, I am sure he has a keen understanding of the issues we face and I look forward to continuing our constructive and friendly engagement.
Ladies and Gentlemen, the ties that bind Australia and Fiji are clearly greater than the issues that sometimes divide us. Our people are genuinely fond of each other and nothing is more important to Fiji than continuing to welcome the hundreds of thousands of Australians who visit our shores every year.
As you all know, there are also tens of thousands of Fijians living in this country, adding the richness of their culture to the great multi-cultural melting pot that is modern Australia.
Certain Fijians are even enriching the life of Senator Thistlewaite, who’s a keen supporter of the South Sydney Rabbitohs in the National Rugby League. I think I can confidently say that without Apisai Koroisau, the Fijian hooker for the Rabbitohs and the other Pacific players at the club, the Senator’s weekends wouldn’t be quite so enjoyable. Read more »