Caption: Permanent Secretary Amena Yauvoli with officials representing the Fijian and USA Government in Washington.Photo:SUPPLIED.
Washington DC, Friday 20 December 2014: Fiji’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs permanent secretary Amena Yauvoli, met with senior officials of the United States Department of State.
Mr Yauvoli’s meetings with senior State Department officials demonstrate the normalisation of relations between Fiji and the United States. He met with the State Department’s acting Assistant Secretary for the Bureau of East Asian & Pacific Affairs, Mr Scot Marcel, and held discussions over issues relating to the restoration of bilateral assistance and cooperation in areas of mutual interest.
In the area of regional cooperation, the two officials discussed the importance of building partnerships based on trust and mutual development.
Mr Marcel assured Mr Yauvoli that the US was not interested in competing with other nations for influence in the Pacific region but to support independent countries become successful.
Mr Yauvoli highlighted the importance of the discussions to be held in early 2015 amongst Pacific leaders on the regional architecture. Both officials agreedthat the revised regional architecture need to address development as a strategic goal.
During his official visit to the State Department, Yauvoli also met with the US Special Envoy on Climate Change, Todd Stern.
Both officials had made important contributions that ensured the success of the 20th global climate change conference in Lima, Peru and spent time exchanging views on its outcomes.
Mr Yauvoli and Mr Stern recognized the need for greater understanding and collaboration amongst the international community in order for a comprehensive, inclusive and legally binding climate agreement to be adopted at the 21st conference in Paris in 2015.
In a well-organised program facilitated by Fiji’s Ambassador to the US Winston Thompson, Mr Yauvoli met with all Ambassadors of the Pacific small island developing States resident in the US capital. The Ambassadors of Papua New Guinea, the Federated States of Micronesia, Marshall Islands and Palau all welcomed Mr Yauvoli’s visit to Washington DC. They expressed their desire to continue dialogue on shared goals in future visits.
With the successful national elections in September and the normalization of relations with the US, it is expected that more high level visits to Washington DC by Fijian Government representatives will take place in the coming year.