Tonga PM arrives in Fiji for Forum Leaders Special Retreat

Prime Minister, Hu'akavameiliku, arrived in Fiji today for the Pacific Islands Forum Special Leaders Retreat.

Hu'akavameiliku is accompanied by the Chief Secretary and Secretary to Cabinet, Paula Ma'u.

The delegation was met by Fiji’s Minister for Lands and Mineral Resources Filimoni Vosarogo at Nadi International Airport.

Hu'akavameiliku will join Forum Leaders at the Sheraton Resort in Denarau for their Special Retreat on Friday.

At a press briefing in Nuku’alofa last week, Hu'akavameiliku said he will recommend to the Forum Leaders that they push for visa exemptions for Pacific Island Leaders and officials with both New Zealand and Australia.

He will also recommend that Pacific Island students in both countries be allowed to pay a special Pacific Islands Students fees, instead of international fees currently being charged for Pasifika students going to study in the two countries.

"These are two issues that I will take to the Forum Leaders," Hu'akavameiliku said.

Fiji’s Prime Minister and Chair of the Pacific Islands Forum (PIF), Sitiveni Rabuka will host the event which is being seen as a milestone moment in regionalism.

The leaders are expected to welcome Kiribati back into the Forum family after Kiribati withdrew from the regional body mid last year.

At that time President Taneti Maamau said he would not attend the Forum Leaders meeting in Suva because because of failure to address concerns of Micronesian countries

The Special Leaders Retreat this week will focus on Forum solidarity as well as see the transition of the Chair of the Pacific Islands Forum from Fiji to the Cook Islands.

Mark Brown, Prime Minister of the Cook Islands will look to host the 52nd Pacific Islands Forum Leaders Meeting later this year.

The meeting will also consider and finalise the operationalisation of the Suva Agreement that was endorsed by Forum Leaders at their meeting in Suva, Fiji in July, 2022.


Photo courtesy Hon Filimoni Vosarogo  


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