India and Fiji on Thursday signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on visa exemption for holders of diplomatic and official passports.
External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar and Fiji’s Prime Minister Sitiveni Rabuka witnessed the MoU exchange.
Jaishankar on the occasion said: “I just signed and exchanged the visa waiver agreement. It will be helpful in encouraging greater travel between our two countries.”
Fiji Prime Minister Sitiveni Rabuka called the MoU exchange a landmark achievement and said positive discussions were held today to further advance mutual cooperation in key areas of development notably in health and education.
“On behalf of the government of Fiji, I thank the government of India for realising this important cooperation. I’m confident that we will witness many more such initiatives unfolding through the deepening of our cooperation,” Rabuka said.
As a result of the visa exemption, diplomatic and official passport holders in India and Fiji will now be able to enter, transit through, stay and leave each other’s territories without a visa for a period not exceeding 90 days.
The exemption will allow both countries easier access to opportunities for collaboration, discussions and meetings at all levels.
External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on Thursday, while emphasising on the “close and long-standing ties” shared between India and Fiji through “people to people linkages” said it was a privilege to partner in the nation-building efforts across various sectors in the South Pacific country.
Jaishankar also thanked the Fiji government for partnering with India for the 12th World Hindi Conference. He said the arrangements made by the government were exceptional.
Addressing a joint press statement with the Fiji Prime Minister Sitiveni Ligamamada Rabuka on Thursday, Jaishankar said, “I would like to take this occasion to really publically and sincerely thank the government of Fiji for partnering with us on this very important cultural, heritage exercise we do regularly. The arrangements which were made were truly exceptional.”
The external affairs minister is on an official visit to Fiji from February 15-17 to attend the 12th World Hindi Conference in Nadi.
“India and Fiji have close and long-standing ties and a large part of that is built on our people-to-people linkages. We have been privileged to partner with Fiji in its nation-building efforts across various sectors,” he said.
Fiji Prime Minister Sitiveni Rabuka on Thursday said India stood by his country in times of great need and will always be a special friend and trusted partner.
“I’m pleased to say that India will always be a special friend and trusted partner to Fiji,” the Prime Minister said.
“Together we’ve built a robust multifaceted partnership which covers cooperation in all major areas of nation-building. India has stood by us in times of great need. We’re grateful to GoI for supporting us through the provision of life-saving vaccines and humanitarian assistance,” the Fijian PM said.
He also appreciated PM Modi and the Indian government’s support in co-hosting the 12th World Hindi conference in Fiji.