Fijian Prime Minister Sitiveni Rabuka bestowed Prime Minister Narendra Modi with Fiji’s highest honor, as the two met on the sidelines of the 3rd India-Pacific Islands Cooperation (FIPIC) Summit in Papua New Guinea today.
In recognition of his global leadership, PM Rabuka presented PM Modi with ‘the Companion of the Order of Fiji’, a significant honor to be received by only a handful of non-Fijians to date. The award was bestowed today on behalf of Fijian President Ratu Wiliame M. Katonivere.
Taking to Twitter while speaking of the details of the honor, MEA Spokesperson Arindam Bagchi informed, “PM dedicated the honor to the people of India and to the generations of the Fiji-Indian community, who have played a key role in the special and enduring bond between the two countries.”
Pertinently, the Companion of the Order of Fiji is awarded to citizens or other foreigners for eminent achievement and merit of the highest degree in service to Fiji or to humanity at large.
Further, taking to Twitter, as he accepted the honour, PM Modi said, “Grateful to the people and Government of Fiji for conferring the Companion of the Order of Fiji on me. I thank PM @slrabuka for presenting the award. It is an honour for the people of India and a recognition of the strong ties between India and Fiji.”
India-Fiji ties have stood the test of time: PM Modi
Meanwhile, as the Prime Ministers’ met on the margins of the summit today in Papua New Guinea, PM Modi and PM Rabuka also held a comprehensive discussion on a wide range of matters, with a special emphasis being put on strengthening New Delhi-Suva cooperation at the cusp of the high-level talks.
Speaking of the details of the meeting with his Fijian counterpart, PM Modi said, “Delighted to meet PM @slrabuka of Fiji. We had a great conversation on various topics. The relation between India and Fiji has stood the test of time. We look forward to working together to further cement it in the coming years.”
Further, during the talks, while expressing satisfaction at the India-Fiji progress in key sectors, the two sides also exchanged views on regional and global issues of common interest.
PM Modi’s Papua New Guinea visit
It is pertinent to note that PM Modi, who arrived on a brief visit to Papua New Guinea earlier in the day, successfully co-hosted the FIPIC III Summit in Port Moresby along with his Papua New Guinean counterpart, James Marape.
During the summit, PM Modi announced a 12-step action plan to propel India’s partnership with Pacific Island countries. He said the 12-step action plan will fulfil the developmental aspirations of the people of the region and consolidate the shared vision of a free, open, and prosperous Indo-Pacific.
While asserting that the voice of the global south should be a priority for the UNSC, PM Modi also underlined the need for multilateralism and respecting the sovereignty and integrity of all countries during the summit.