The Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs, Sitiveni Rabuka, received a courtesy call from the United Kingdom’s Minister of State for Armed Forces, The Rt Hon James Heappey MP, during his first official visit to Fiji, today, Friday, July 21, 2023.

James Heappey is UK’s first defence minister to visit Fiji and the Pacific region.


The visit comes at a crucial time when the region aspires to build back stronger amidst global challenges.

It demonstrates the UK’s desire to deepen cooperation with Fiji in vital areas of development such as defence and security, peace and stability, trade and economy, climate change and disaster risk resilience.
Prime Minister Rabuka thanked Heappey for the timely visit to advance UK and Fiji’s cooperation at the global and regional levels.

He acknowledged the UK’s ongoing support to Fiji through initiatives aimed at improving the livelihood and well-being of communities in Fiji – complementing Fiji’s development priorities.

Prime Minister Rabuka also commended the UK’s effort to establish a dedicated defence section at the British High Commission in Suva.
He welcomed the UK’s commitment to increase opportunities for more Fijians to join the British Armed Forces and RFMF personnel to undertake professional military training in the UK.

The Prime Minister highlighted the need to strengthen people-to-people ties, particularly with 1500 Fijians serving in the British Armed Forces and a sizeable Fijian diaspora in the UK, who now call the UK home.

Prime Minister Rabuka also commended the Commonwealth’s effort to address critical issues Small Island States (SIDS) face and urged that policy decisions must align with SIDS’s priorities in Fiji.


The Prime Minister looks forward to attending the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) to be hosted in Samoa for the first time in October next year.

He said Fiji looks forward to working closely with the UK to advance inclusive and sustainable socioeconomic development.
In response, Heappey congratulated Prime Minister Rabuka for his leadership role and reaffirmed UK’s strong support for Fiji.

He expressed his appreciation to Prime Minister Rabuka for the fruitful discussions to expand the levels of cooperation for the benefit of both nations.

“I’m honoured to have received such a warm welcome here in Fiji. The UK and Fiji share a long history, and we view the security challenges in the South Pacific in very similar ways,” Heappey said.

“The UK looks forward to working with Fiji and other regional partners to tackle those threats.”


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here