20 Apr 2015

Fiji and Vanuatu in the mix at Jakarta summit

2:40 pm on 20 April 2015

Fiji and Vanuatu are among countries with representatives attending this week's Asia Africa Conference in Jakarta as observers.

Fiji Foreign Minister Ratu Inoke Kubuabola

Fiji Foreign Minister Ratu Inoke Kubuabola Photo: RNZ / Johnny Blades

The conference is a gathering of 77 developing countries for discussions on development and co-operation programmes.

For both island countries, attendance has meant forging closer ties to Indonesia's government.

On the sidelines of the summit, Vanuatu's Foreign Minister Sato Kilman met his Indonesian counterpart Retno Marsudi, and discussed his government's plan to open an embassy in Jakarta.

Ms Marsudi also met with Fiji's Foreign Minister Ratu Inoke Kubuabola for talks about extending free visa requirements for diplomatic passport holders of both nations.

The Shanghai Daily reports Marsudi saying discussion included looking at ways to enhance bilateral ties in economic areas and peacekeeping missions.

There are also plans to hold a bilateral ministerial meeting in Fiji in August.