Australia & Fiji Close Ranks on Defense
The Vice Chief of the Defence Force, Vice Admiral Ray Griggs returned from a visit to Fiji today, the first visit from a senior Australian military representative in some years.
The visit was an important step towards re-establishing a substantive defence relationship between Australia and Fiji, and will form the basis of a new partnership between the Australian Defence Force (ADF) and the Republic of Fiji Military Forces (RFMF).
This is the first time a senior ADF representative has visited the island nation since 2006, and was timely for both countries to discuss working together in the defence context.
“I was pleased to have the opportunity to discuss broad priorities for defence cooperation with my Fijian counterparts, including our shared perspectives on regional and global security issues. Fiji is one of the largest countries in the Pacific region, and the RFMF has been an important partner for the ADF,” VADM Griggs said.
“We are looking forward to working with the Ministry of Defence and the RFMF to resume a full defence relationship and re-establish strong people-to-people links between our two militaries.”
During the visit, VADM Griggs met with Fiji’s Minister for Defence, National Security, and Immigration, the Hon Timoci Natuva, and senior RFMF representatives.
“Minister Natuva and I discussed the proposed scope, themes, and timeframes for a resumed Defence Cooperation Program and regional maritime security issues,” VADM Griggs said.
While in Suva, VADM Griggs attended a meeting with senior RFMF leadership and visited the Republic of Fiji Military’s Navy Base, RFNS Stanley Brown.
“There is much our two militaries can achieve together, including in the areas of maritime security, peacekeeping, engineering and humanitarian assistance and disaster relief.”