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Top level talks on

Litia Vulaidausiga
Sunday, August 24, 2014

DISCUSSIONS between Foreign Affairs Minister Ratu Inoke Kubuabola and his New Zealand counterpart, Murray McCully have resulted in an agreement for annual consultations beginning next year.

Mr McCully arrived in Nadi on Friday morning for the meeting which the government has lauded as the first high level consultation after seven years.

In a Information Ministry statement, Ratu Inoke said this paved the way forward for bilateral relations and believed the annual consultations would clearly define how they could work with each other.

Topics discussed also included regional and multilateral matters.

"These issues ranged from recognised seasonal employer scheme, Pacific access category, development co-operation, post-election bilateral defence engagement, climate change adaptation and peacekeeping," the statement said.

With both countries due to hold elections next month, a brief on preparations was also covered.

The visit signifies further progress between the two countries since the lifting of travel sanctions against Fiji by the New Zealand Government, which has also committed about NZ$1.5 million ($F2.35m) in technical assistance towards the elections.

Mr McCully said in the statement the consultation effectively opened a new chapter for both countries.

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