India and Fiji Sign MoU on Defence Cooperation
India and Island nation Fiji have signed an agreement that is aimed at boosting cooperation between the two nations in areas such as defence, military training, humanitarian assistance and disaster management.
India and Fiji signed a Memorandum of Understanding on expanding cooperation in the defence sector on 29 May 2017 in New Delhi.
The MoU was signed between the Minister of Defence and National Security of Fiji, Ratu Inoke Kubuabola and his delegation and the Minister of Defence, Finance and Corporate Affairs of India, Arun Jaitley.
The visiting Fiji delegation was received by a Tri-Services Guard of Honour at the lawns of South Block. Prior to meeting his Indian counterpart, Fiji’s defence minister laid a wreath at the Amar Jawan Jyoti at India Gate and before his arrival in New Delhi, he had visited the Western Naval Command in Mumbai.
The two Ministers discussed the expanded defence partnership in maritime security between both the countries and identified naval cooperation as an area of promise.
The MoU mainly aims to encourage cooperation between the two nations in several areas including defence industry, military training and humanitarian assistance & disaster management.
• India and Island nation Fiji share a strong cultural link, especially since 38 percent of Fiji's population is of Indian descent.
• India has used its influence in international forums such as the Commonwealth of Nations and United Nations on behalf of the ethnic Indians in Fiji, lobbying for sanctions against Fiji in the wake of the 1987 and 2000 coup, both of which removed governments, one dominated and one led, by Indo-Fijians.
• At the second summit of the Pacific Islands countries, which was held August 2015 in Jaipur, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced plans to open a space research and satellite monitoring station in Fiji.
• The station will enable India to independently track satellites. India previously relied on the United States and Australia to assist it with monitoring its satellites over the Pacific.
• The two nations have previously signed agreements to improve cooperation in various fields including tourism and health.