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The Kiribati government says the Natoavatu land in Fiji is ideal for future development to address the needs of the people of Kiribati given that it’s suitable soil for agriculture and access to the seafront and ports.
“In this regard, the government considers the development of the land in Fiji as an investment opportunity for the benefit of all I-Kiribati people,” a government statement said.
Kiribati President Taneti Maamau downplayed rumours that the government plans to sell the land in Fiji.
“A lot had been done in the last four years through surveys undertaken to confirm land boundaries including an agreement with the Solomon Islanders residing on a portion of the land to assist and look after it.
“In addition, Kiribati through our High Commission in Fiji had kept the Fiji Government updated on our activities and plans for the land,” the statement said.
The President had also alluded to ongoing consultation between the Ministry of Environment and China on possible projects, noting that a strategic plan for the land in Fiji has been developed and that “we are seeking technical assistance from China to further improve the plan including ideas for the actual projects and activities. This is in light of the current agriculture cooperation with China to assist build local capacity in the agricultural sector in Kiribati and which can benefit the development plan for Natoavatu, Fiji,” he said.
In the President’s recent interview with the local media, he claimed the media misrepresented his response to imply that the Government had offered its land in Fiji to another partner.
“This raises serious concern about some media organsations ethics and intentions.
“The Government is gravely concerned that some media organisations continue to misrepresent information that is provided by the Government,” the statement said.
Following its experience with the massive disinformation during the last election cycle, the Government of Kiribati has prioritised information awareness campaigns and closer engagement with the media.
“This is being carried out through a regular press conference with the President and Ministers engagement with the local media to ensure that correct information reaches the Kiribati people and our partners abroad,” the statement said.
SOURCE: KIRIBATI GOVT/PACNEWS
Pacific Islands News Association
Who & What is PINA?
International News Safety Institute (INSI)
Media Helping Media