The Prime Minister’s participation at the event follows a personal invitation by his Solomon Islands counterpart Hon. Gordon Darcy Lilo to lead a Fijian delegation and participate at the celebrations.
Fiji’s participation demonstrate the historical relations shared between both countries and their growing cooperation especially through the Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG).
Fiji’s non-resident High Commissioner to Solomon Islands, Romanu Tikotikoca said the invitation of the Fijian PM was a testimony of strong relations between Fiji and Solomon Islands.
While formal relations between the two were only signed on July 28, 1978, the earliest documented relations were during the Second World War, when Fijian soldiers fought against the Japanese in Solomon Islands.
In an earlier interview, Solomon Islands Prime Minister Hon. Gordon Darcy Lilo said the personal invitation extended to Fiji and her Prime Minister was also a way to show its gratitude to Fiji and her people for coming to his country’s aid during its trying times.
“Fiji has assisted Solomon Islands during World War II, and the rebuilding of our home, and also provided the much needed support during our trying times,” Prime Minister Lilo said.
While Prime Minister Bainimarama leaves Fiji later this week, a contingent comprising officials from Fiji’s police, military and media left early this morning to be part of the celebrations.