Caption: HE Dr Robin Nair presents his credentials.
Ambassador Robin Nair presented his credentials to His Excellency Abdullah Gül, the President of the Republic of Turkey, earlier this month as Fiji’s first (Non-Resident) Ambassador to the Republic of Turkey.
In presenting his credentials, Ambassador Nair informed the President that the Bainimarama Government wished to acknowledge the dramatic transformation of Turkey as a major economy with political stability and strengthening democracy, over the last 10 years. It acknowledged the strong leadership of Prime Minister, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in the transformation of Turkey’s domestic affairs, and most importantly, in his continued high profile leadership in working to find solutions to the problems and conflicts in the Middle East, an area in which Fiji has been involved for many years in contributing to peace and stability in the region, through United Nations Peace-Keeping efforts.
President Gül recalled meeting President Nailatikau in Istanbul in 2008 when he hosted a meeting between Turkey and the Foreign Ministers of the Pacific Island Countries. He congratulated Fiji in recently adopting, what he termed, a “Just Constitution to take Fiji forward to a genuine democracy”. He informed the Ambassador that Turkey was considering how it could support the logistics for the forthcoming elections as Turkey supports the emergence of genuine democracies throughout the world. An announcement on this is expected soon.
The President went on to acknowledge Fiji’s continued support for regional peace and security through its large contributions to the UN Peacekeeping Forces, particularly in the Golan Heights.
Ambassador Nair met senior Foreign Ministry officials and the Vice President of The Turkish International Cooperation and Development Agency (TIKA) and discussed further technical assistance to Fiji. In 2011, TIKA co-funded with the Government and completed the Buca Village mini-hydro plant, which now provides electricity to about 85 households in the village. TIKA is about to freight ECG Machines to Fiji’s Health Ministry. TIKA is now liaising with the Embassy on providing full scholarships for Fijian Students and providing further medical equipment.
The Ambassador briefed both organisations on the Pacific Small Islands Developing States Group (PSIDS) and the recent launch of the Pacific Islands Development Forum, consisting only of island countries of the region. Turkey expressed its renewed interest in the Pacific Islands region and said that it looks forward to working with Fiji in its efforts to develop its relationships with the Pacific Island Countries.
Ambassador Nair also called on the Director General of the Turkish Radio and Television Corporation (TRT) and he was briefed on the recently negotiated Cooperation Protocol between TRT and the Fiji Broadcasting Commission. TRT agreed to assist the Embassy with its efforts in promoting tourism, investment and trade, through promotional video clips supplied by the Embassy.
The Ambassador held preliminary talks on the appointment of a Fiji Honorary Consul in Ankara or Istanbul.