Jaishankar unveils bust of Sardar Vallabhai Patel in Fiji's capital Suva. Twitter
New Delhi: External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar unveiled Sardar Vallabhai Patel's bust in India House in Suva where he interacted with a large gathering of members of the diaspora community, External Affairs Ministry's statement said.
Taking to Twitter, Jaishankar said, "Privileged to unveil a bust of Sardar Patel at the India House in Suva, Fiji. His vision of a united, stronger nation remains an inspiration for all Indians."
Addressing the Indian Diaspora in Fiji, Jaishankar stated that the Indian community has achieved its own milestones and is today an enormous asset to India, the country where they live, and to the world.
The minister during his community address in Suva, Fiji, said that when we look at the Indo-Pacific, we look at Fiji as an important partner with whom there is a historic and established relationship.
"I am on my first visit to Fiji. After two days, I am wondering why it took me so long to get here. It's been an interesting visit, a lot of things I learned from being here," the minister said.
Jaishankar, who is in Fiji from February 15-17 to attend the 12th World Hindi Conference, held bilateral meetings with Fiji's leadership during his first-day-long visit to Suva on February 16.
According to the statement, Jaishankar called on the President of Fiji, Ratu Williame Katonivere at the State House and launched along with the Fijian President, the Government of India-funded project for the Solarisation of the Pacific Heads of State Residence at the State House in Suva.
The project is the inaugural pilot of the Solar Head of State initiative launched by the Pacific Islands Development Forum (PIDF) in Fiji and funded by the India-UN Development Partnership Fund, as per the statement.
He had meetings with the Prime Minister of Fiji Sitiveni Ligamamada Rabuka and senior members of the Fijian cabinet including the three Deputy Prime Ministers, Ministers for Home Affairs, Health, Education, Multi-ethnic Affairs, and Sugar.
During the bilateral meeting with the PM, both leaders took stock of the bilateral relations and discussed ways and means to further strengthen the development partnership between India and Fiji in various areas, including capacity building, health, education, agriculture, and Information Technology.
EAM, Ministers of State V Muraleedharan, and MPs attending the 12th World Hindi Conference also visited the Siva Subramanya Kovil in Nadi.
During his visit to Suva, EAM inaugurated the renovated Girmit Gallery in the Fiji Museum, which has been supported by the Government of India under bilateral grant-in-aid. The Gallery showcases the journey of the Girmits (Indian indentured laborers) in Fiji.
On Thursday, 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.
India and Fiji share close, friendly, and long-standing relations with a strong element of development partnership. This year marks 75 years of the establishment of India's diplomatic presence in Fiji, the statement added.