President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono in this file photo. REUTERS: Bazuki Muhammad.
The President of the Republic of Indonesia, His Excellency Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, arrived in Fiji last evening to participate in the Second Summit of the Pacific Islands Development Forum (PIDF).
Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama, who met President Yudhoyono at Nadi Airport, said that it was a great honour to welcome the Indonesian Head of State to Fiji.
“President Yudhoyono’s visit marks a historic moment for Fiji and for the region. His presence here shows the importance of the PIDF – the Pacific’s grand coalition of regional governments, civil society organisations and the private sector,” PM Bainimarama said.
The Prime Minister said that Indonesia – a nation of more than 250 million people spread across nearly 13,500 islands – is one of the Pacific’s most important development partners, adding that there are many areas for closer cooperation and partnership.
The Indonesian Head of State was accorded a 100 men guard of honor by the Republic of Fiji Military Forces (RFMF) and the Fiji Naval Forces upon his arrival at Nadi Airport.
President Yudhoyono is leading a delegation to the 2014 PIDF meeting where he will deliver the keynote address. While in Fiji, he is also expected to hold talks with senior government officials including the President of Fiji, His Excellency Ratu Epeli Nailatikau.
The Second Summit will also include high-level participants from 12 Pacific island governments, as well as observers from nations such as Morocco, Venezuela, Israel, Singapore, Kazakhstan, Kuwait and Georgia.
The Vice President of the Federated States of Micronesia, Alik L Alik, and Kazakhstan Ambassador at Large, Barlybay Sadykov, have already arrived in the country.
The Prime Minister of Tonga, Lord Sialeʻataongo Tuʻivakano, arrived last evening and the President for Nauru, Baron Divavesi Waqa and senior officials from French Polynesia and Solomon Islands are expected to arrive into the country today.
Since its inception in 2013, the PIDF has been a unique platform that brings together leaders from the public and private sectors and civil society to address regional development challenges.
The PIDF Summit officially opens on Thursday 19th June.