20 Nov 2014

India to deepen Fiji ties

9:55 am on 20 November 2014

India's prime minister, Narendra Modi, says he has agreed with Fiji's prime minister, Frank Bainimarama, to consult more closely on international issues of mutual interest, including international trade, climate change, United Nations Peacekeeping and UN reforms.

India's and Fiji's prime ministers, Narendra Modi and Frank Bainimarama

India's and Fiji's prime ministers, Narendra Modi and Frank Bainimarama Photo: supplied

Mr Modi made the comment after talks in Suva at the end of three-nation tour.

He says Fiji could serve as a hub for stronger Indian engagement with Pacific Islands, adding that India will also expand defence and security cooperation, including assistance in defence training and capacity building.

Mr Bainimarama says they have signed three memorandums of understanding.

They are on the exchange of land for a new Fiji chancery building in New Delhi, on diplomatic exchanges that will allow Fiji's diplomats to train in India and on project financing for an electricity co-generation plant funded through the Exim Bank of India.

The Fiji opposition has been left out of some of the events, which has prompted the Sodelpa Party to boycott parliament as it is to be addressed by the Indian leader.

Government leaders of Samoa, Tonga, the Cook Islands, Niue, Nauru, Vanuatu and the Federated States of Micronesia are also in Fiji to meet Mr Modi.

Mr Modi is the first Indian prime minister to visit Fiji in 33 years.