CAPTION: Prime Minister Commodore voreqe Bainimarama with his counterparts from the Solomon Islands and Vanuatu during the traditional welcome.
Fijian Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama has been invited by his Solomon Islands counterpart Prime Minister Gordon Darcy Lilo to be the chief guest at their 35th Independence Day celebrations in Honiara, Solomon Islands.
This was confirmed by the Solomon Islands Prime Minister saying that Fiji’s head of Government was the best person to be chief guest at the celebrations.
“Fiji is the only country invited because we share very strong and special relations with Fiji which dates back to ancient time,” Mr Lilo said.
“Fiji has assisted Solomon Islands during the World War II, and the rebuilding of our home, and also provided the much needed support during our trying times.”
PM Bainimarama will be traveling to Honiara on July 6 upon his return from his state visit to Russia.
“Fiji will be the only guest during the celebrations in the first week of the month while other guests who have been invited will be celebrating the Independence Day on July 24,” Mr Lilo said.
Fiji’s non-resident High Commissioner to the Solomon Islands, His Excellency Romanu Tikotikoca has also been invited.
“High Commissioner Tikotikoca will also be present because he led the first ever Fijian Police contingent to Solomon Islands in 2003,” Mr Lilo added.
Mr Tikotikoca said the invitation of the Fijian PM was a testimony of the positive and strong relations between Fiji and Solomon Islands.
“It’s more than just a bilateral relation. Fijians have assisted towards the development of Solomon Islands in a very positive way,” Mr Tikotikoca said.
“Fiji has been a training ground for most of their church leaders, our soldiers were in Solomon Islands during the Second World War, after the war most Fijians assisted in the rebuilding of the nation then came the Regional Assistance Mission to Solomon Islands (RAMSI) and on top of that the Solomon Islands national anthem was composed by a Fijian.”
“There is also a number of Solomon Islanders living in Fiji many of them were born in Fiji and call it home,” Mr Tikotikoca added.