Caption: Fijian Prime Minister Josaia V. Bainimarama meets His Excellency Hassan Rouhani, the President of the Islamic Republic of Iran.
24 September 2013, New York: Fijian Prime Minister Josaia V. Bainimarama met today with His Excellency Hassan Rouhani, the President of the Islamic Republic of Iran. Iran currently holds the Presidency of the Non Aligned Movement with its 120 Member States, while Fiji holds the Chairmanship of the Group of 77 and China with its 132 Member States. President Rouhani and Prime Minister Bainimarama discussed the challenges and opportunities of presiding over such a large group of countries, and how the two groups can fully play their part in current global peace, security, social and economic situations.
President Rouhani stressed that solutions are needed for the instability being experienced in the Middle East, including in Syria, and expressed his hope that groups like the Non Aligned Movement would be able to bring to bear some influence on lasting peaceful solutions, while recognising the large and diverse nature of such Groups. President Rouhani wished Prime Minister Bainimarama the best for his tenure as Chair of the G77, and assured him of Iran’s support in this regard.
Prime Minister Bainimarama explained that Fiji’s commitment to assisting peace and security in the Middle East came from its long participation in UN Peacekeeping Missions, most recently through deploying over 500 personnel to the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF) in the Golan Heights. He said this followed on from Fiji’s past participation in UNIFIL in Lebanon, and current participation in UNAMI in Iraq and the MFO in the Sinai. President Rouhani assured Iran’s support to Fiji’s peacekeepers as part of these UN Missions, and expressed the hope that in each of the countries where Fiji serves in the Middle East, lasting peaceful solutions can be obtained, as it has been many years since these places have had to rely on UN peacekeeping for stability.
Finally, Prime Minister Bainimarama and President Rouhani discussed bilateral ties between Iran and Fiji, which were formalised on 30 August 2012 in Tehran. Both expressed their desire to promote and enhance bilateral ties, including in the areas of tourism and the sugar industry. They tasked their respective Ministers of Foreign Affairs to follow up on bilateral ties between the Islamic Republic of Iran and Fiji.