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February 20, 2020 2:26 pm

At Fiji Summit Meeting, Israeli President Hails Cooperation With South Pacific Nations

avatar by Algemeiner Staff

Fijian President Jioji Konrote welcomes his Israeli counterpart, Reuven Rivlin, to Nadi, Feb. 20, 2020. Photo: Kobi Gideon / GPO.

Israeli President Reuven Rivlin took part in a summit meeting in Fiji on Thursday with group of leaders from the South Pacific region.

Rivlin’s stopover in Fiji came as he made his way to Australia, where he will arrive on Friday.

At a dinner hosted by Fijian President Jioji Konrote, Rivlin — a Jerusalem native — said, “While I come from the Holy City, here in the Pacific I have found the Garden of Eden.”

“When there are close bonds between hearts, we can overcome even great distances,” he continued. “We have so much in common. We are all small countries, which are proud of our traditions and committed to democracy, freedom and progress. We are all resilient peoples, making us natural partners in meeting one of the greatest challenges of our time — combating climate change and promoting sustainable development.”

“I strongly believe that we must increase our cooperation in fields such as emergency response, food security, energy, agriculture, health and water management,” Rivlin declared. “Already today we cooperate in many areas.”

“Our strong friendship extends to the international arena as well,” he noted. “We deeply appreciate your support at the UN and hope that it will continue to grow. In the face of gross bias against Israel at the UN, it is not enough simply to abstain. The unfair political discrimination against Israel must be actively opposed.”

Participants in the summit meeting included Prime Minister James Marape of Papua New Guinea, Deputy Prime Minister Sione Vuna Fa’otusia of Tonga, Prime Minister Minute Alapati Taupo of Tuvalu, Foreign Minister Andrew Napuat of the Solomon Islands and Interior Minister Jeremiah Manele of Vanuatu.

Watch “Hatikvah” — Israel’s national anthem — being played as Rivlin arrives in Fiji below:

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