PM sends good wishes

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison. Picture: REUTERS

PRIME Minister Voreqe Bainimarama has congratulated his newly-elected Australian counterpart, Scott Morrison, saying that he looked forward to strengthening bilateral relations between Fiji and Australia.

Mr Bainimarama said Fiji and Australia had charted a new course and had forged a partnership in recent years that matched the close relationship the Fijian and Australian people had long shared with one another.

“I look forward to working with you to strengthen the new foundation of mutual respect and understanding that supports our bilateral relationship today, and to deepen our co-operation on the global stage,” Mr Bainimarama said in a congratulatory letter addressed to Mr Morrison.

He said it was his friendship with former Australian PM Malcolm Turnbull that helped improve the relationship between Fiji and Australia.

“In the not too distant past, our political and diplomatic relationship left much to be desired, but we’re putting those years behind us.”

Mr Bainimarama also wished Mr Morrison well in his capacity as the COP23 president and said he appreciated Australia’s commitment in the fight against climate change so far, but believed that Australia’s commitment must grow even stronger moving forward.

“This will include increased ambition in your commitments under the Paris Agreement and this will also include a recognition that stronger, short-term climate action and a commitment to net-zero emission by 2050 is vital to the Australian people, the security of your neighbours in the Pacific and the wellbeing of every global citizen,” he added

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