WELLINGTON, June 7 (Xinhua) -- New Zealand Prime Minister Chris Hipkins and Fijian Prime Minister Sitiveni Rabuka met in Wellington on Wednesday, reaffirming the strength of bilateral relationship, as outlined in the Duavata Relationship Statement of Partnership.
"New Zealand and Fiji are connected by a kinship forged in Pacific culture, identity, and interests, founded on our long history, friendship, and mutual respect," Hipkins said.
The two sides exchanged views on a wide range of issues that are important to the two countries and region, including strengthening regional institutions which have long served Pacific interests, as well as economic and security matters that are impacting the region, he said.
Hipkins also announced a further 11.1 million NZ dollars (6.74 million U.S. dollars) of climate change support for Fiji to respond to the impacts of climate change.
"We had an inspired discussion on how we can further cooperate on combating the effects of climate change. It's clear it remains the single greatest threat to lives and livelihoods in the Pacific region," Hipkins said.
This additional funding will assist Fiji to deliver community-based climate adaptation and mitigation projects, he added.
Rabuka said the visit marked a significant milestone in the New Zealand-Fiji relationship, clearly demonstrating a commitment to elevating how the two sides work together.
The Duavata Relationship Statement of Partnership is the platform to approach issues of mutual interest and importance to Fiji and New Zealand, such as climate change, social well-being, regional security, and building economic resilience, Rabuka said.
"This additional funding from New Zealand is very welcome. It will support Fiji to implement discrete projects in renewable energy, infrastructure resilience, climate policy, and capacity strengthening," Rabuka said. ■