Prime Minister Honourable Josaia Voreqe Bainimarama has extended an invitation to the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the United Arab Emirates Armed Forces, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan to visit Fiji.
While meeting the Crown Prince at Qasr Al Hosn yesterday, Prime Minister Bainimarama invited him to take advantage of the many opportunities that existed in our small island paradise.
This is the second time for the Prime Minister to meet the Crown Prince, the first being last month along the margins of the Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week.
The Head of Government informed His Highness that Fiji has been paying close attention to the direction and achievements of the UAE not only in the region but also at the international arena and commended him for the exceptional leadership.
With the renewed relationship between UAE and Fiji, Prime Minister Bainimarama is reaffirming his personal commitment to building a stronger relationship with the Emirates.
This commitment has resulted in the proposal of establishing the UAE Diplomatic Mission in Suva, an initiative that the Fijian Government fully supports and endorses with open arms.
Discussions at the meeting were also focused on the education of Fijian students at the New York University in Abu Dhabi.
Prime Minister Bainimarama said that these students are among other future leaders of Fiji in years to come and has requested the Crown Prince for more scholarship opportunities for our Fijian students.
The Prime Minister also revisited our pending request on visa waiver for all Fijian passport holders entering the UAE and is hoping for a mutually- beneficial agreement to be reached soon.
With relation to TC Sarai, Prime Minister Bainimarama informed His Highness that an estimated 77,000 Fijians were affected.
The sectors directly impacted by TC Sarai included water, electricity, roads, telecommunication, education, tourism and health, among others to which the Fijian Government coordinated immediate relief actions through its Emergency Operations Centers.
Prime Minister Bainimarama also highlighted that Fiji stands ready to assist the UAE with the provision of work placements for Fijian Non-Commissioned Officers to guard some of UAE’s strategic assets- a request that has been long discussed between the Fijian and UAE Armed Forces in their past annual meetings.
At present, there are about 250 Fijian nationals working in the UAE, some of whom are pilots, flight attendants, nurses, teachers, aircraft engineers, administrators and security personnel.