His Excellency the President Ratu Epeli Nailatikau was accorded a guard of honour upon arrival at the Ministry of Defence in Brazil.

The Brazilian Government has praised the Republic of Fiji Military Forces (RFMF) for its efforts in restoring peace in volatile regions across the world.

Brazilian Minister for Defence, Celso Amorim conveyed his country’s message during a meeting with Fijian President, His Excellency Ratu Epeli Nailatikau at Defence House in Brasilia yesterday.

Mr Amorim said for a country of Fiji’s size and population, the nation has certainly punched above its weight and continues to be admired the world over.

“The Brazilian Government would like to thank you and the people of Fiji for ensuring peace in troubled regions of the world and you continue to do so,” Mr Amorim said.

“Handling situations in areas such as Iraq, Sinai and Golan Heights is no easy feat and all Fijians should be proud of it. Brazil also sends its troops to Lebanon and we are well aware of the heroics of Fijian soldiers in these areas.”

He added that Brazil wanted to join hands with Fiji in different arms of the defence forces through a cooperative framework.

“We would like to train and work very closely with Fijian soldiers including those from the Navy. Joint exercises would be very beneficial to forces of both countries as we will learn off each other especially in surveillance and monitoring of exclusive economic zones of both countries,” Mr Amorim added.

The Fijian Head of State who is also the commander in Chief of the RFMF welcomed the interest from the Brazilians and said he was interested in seeing the talks to fruition.

“We are very much interested in training and exchange programmes with your country and upon my return back home will have discussions on how we could explore this further,” Ratu Epeli said.


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