Rt Epeli at 100th anniversary of end of first world war

Former president Ratu Epeli Nailatikau with the president of Vanuatu and the First Lady. Picture: SUPPLIED

FORMER President Ratu Epeli Nailatikau joined world leaders from more than 70 nations and international organisations this week to commemorate the 100th year anniversary of the end of the first world war in Paris, France.

Ratu Epeli represented Fiji in his capacity as the former Head of State and Fiji’s special envoy.

A Government statement issued today stated that Ratu Epeli attended a series of events to mark this anniversary.

The events culminated at an event at the Arc de Triomphe in the heart of Paris where the world leaders were led by French President Emmanuel Macron in paying tribute to citizens across the world, including Fiji who lost some of her sons in World War I.

Mr Macron had extended an invitation to Fiji in recognition of her own contribution during WWI when Fijian troops, during the British colonial period, were stationed in parts of France and Italy.

Ratu Epeli was quoted in the statement saying that Fiji’s participation at this event paid tribute to her own troops who lost their lives in World War I and provided an opportunity to strengthen relations with the international community and to reaffirm Fiji’s commitment to world peace.

“It is a great honour for me to be here as Fiji’s immediate-past president, and current Special Representative, to represent our country here at this gathering of world leaders to commemorate the signing of the Armistice, marking the end of the First World War exactly 100 years ago,” he said.

“It is a great pleasure for me to be here among friends – new friends in many ways but with whom we already have much in common.

“What we share above all, is our aspiration to live in a world free from conflict, a world free from man-made disasters like the first and second world wars, and all the other wars being waged in different fronts around the world.”

The former president returns this week.

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