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Brownlee, Bainimarama meeting in Fiji

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 29/05/2017

Foreign Minister Gerry Brownlee says Pacific issues, defence ties and aid will be on the agenda when he meets with Fijian Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama this week.

Mr Brownlee says he is flying to Fiji on Tuesday.

Regional issues, defence and disaster risk reduction ties and New Zealand's aid and development programme would be discussed.

He noted the New Zealand navy recently deployed the patrol vessel HMNZS Hawea to Fiji for six months to help bolster its maritime security and to protect its fisheries.

"New Zealand's response to Cyclone Winston in 2016 demonstrated the deep friendship between the people of our two countries. Responding to natural disasters is an area where I believe we could more closely collaborate," Mr Brownlee said.

Relations between New Zealand have warmed since Fiji held elections in 2014 - and last year Mr Bainimarama visited this country in an official capacity for the first time since he took power in the 2006 coup.

Both he and then prime minister John Key said the two countries were now looking forward to improved relations rather than reflecting on the past.

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