THE French patrol boat, La Moqueuse, made a brief stopover in Suva this week to pick up water rations and refuel after a scheduled stop in Wallis and Futuna was cancelled.
The French Embassy said in a statement, La Moqueuse and her crew of 35, on patrol in Wallis and Futuna's Exclusive Economic Zone, had to cancel their stopover as a result of unfavourable weather.
The French Defence adviser to Fiji and Tonga, Lieutenant-Colonel Arnaud Bouyssou, praised the quick action taken by the embassy and the efficiency of the Fijian authorities in making the unscheduled stop possible.
"The reception and the service provided by the local authorities were not only professional but very welcoming and allowed the team to pick up supplies and return to their mission without any hitches," he stated. This is the first time since 2006 that a French military vessel has been in Fiji waters, with the exception of the frigate VendÃ©miaire in April 2010 that passed by on a humanitarian visit following Hurricane Tomas.