Sunday, 20th August 2017

Indonesian minister hands over aid to Fijian prime minister

31st March 2016 | 1.902 Views
Suva, Fiji (ANTARA News) - Coordinating Minister for Political, Legal, and Security Affairs Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan here, Thursday, symbolically handed over aid worth US$5 million to Fijian Prime Minister J.V. Bainimarama to help rebuild the country after Cyclone Winston.

Pandjaitan also expressed his sympathy and condolences to the Fijian government and people over the disaster that devastated the South Pacific country last February.

Bainimarama held a closed-door meeting with Pandjaitan, who was accompanied by Indonesian Ambassador to Fiji Gary R.M. Jusuf, the vice governor of Papua, and the governor of Maluku.

Later, the Indonesian delegation held a meeting with Fijian Minister for Agriculture, Rural, and Maritime Development and National Disaster Management Inia Seruiratu.

Indonesia offered cooperation to Fiji in the areas of agriculture, disaster mitigation, and fishery.

The minister remarked that Indonesia will deploy engineer troops to help reconstruct Queen Victoria School in Lawaki.

"In early May, the TNIs (Indonesian Defense Forces) engineer troops will arrive. We will also send 100 units of hand tractors to help develop agriculture here," Pandjaitan noted.

Minister Seruiratu hailed the aid and cooperation offered by Indonesia.

He said Indonesia was a key player in the Asian and Pacific region, and the countrys success in disaster management and mitigation had received international recognition.

However, he hoped that the two countries would intensify cooperation in other crucial fields such as education, agriculture, economy, and food security.

As part of the delegations agenda, Indonesian Chairman of the General Election Commission Husni Kamil Manik signed a memorandum of understanding on cooperation for the management of general elections with his Fijian counterpart.

Ambassador Jusuf stated that Fiji was a good friend of Indonesia in the South Pacific region and will always remember its assistance when the nation was isolated following a peaceful coup in 2006.

Indonesia helped Fiji transform itself from a military regime into a democratic nation and offered technical cooperation in the fisheries sector in areas such as seaweed cultivation, the envoy added.

After concluding the trip to Fiji, the Indonesian delegation headed on a working visit to Papua New Guinea.(*)