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Pacific leaders express their appreciation for Fiji Summit
11:52 pm GMT+12, 18/11/2014, Fiji

Samoan Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi, once the loudest critic of Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama has changed his tune.

He told the Fiji Sun at the Nausori Airport last night that he was critical of Prime Minister Bainimarama then because Fiji did not have a democratic government.

"Now that you have a democratic government, it's all over, said PM Tuilaepa.

He said that he recently congratulated the Fijian Prime Minister after he addressed a recent international meeting.

His arrival yesterday marked his second visit since the 2006 takeover in Fiji. The first was when he attended the foreign affairs ministers meeting. After that he started sending his representatives, he said.

While other Pacific leaders remained silent and refused to drawn into Fiji's internal affairs after 2006, PM Tuilaepa frequently spoke out against Fiji and PM Bainimarama.

Last night, Tuilaepa and his wife Gillian were warmly welcomed by Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ratu Inoke Kubuabola and Fiji's Ambassador to Japan, Isikeli Mataitoga.

Tuilaepa is here to attend a summit with Indian Prime Minister, Narendra Modi.

Cook Island Prime Minister, Henry Puna  thanked Fiji for providing an opportunity to meet with the Indian Prime Minister, Narendra Modi and the President of China, Xi Jinping.

When the Fiji Sun caught up with PM Puna, he was excited to meet the two world leaders in Fiji.

"Well done to Fiji for having the capacity to attract world leaders, Puna said.

"It's good for Fiji and also for the Pacific. We are very pleased that we are here to share this engagement with the world leaders so Fiji is doing really well.

"This opportunity is really a God send to us and our appreciation goes to Fiji for making this possible.

The Cook Islands Prime Minister said it was really good to see India expressing interest in the Pacific.

"What a better way to start then to sit down and have a chat with the leaders of the country so we look forward to the meeting.

"I think most us, especially Cook Islands are interested to see what potential there is for co-operative relations with India particularly in terms of economic development.

He said they were conscious of India;s growing economy and that it was growing at a fast rate.

"It is a major player in the world economy and therefore we need to have a close relationship with India, said PM Puna.

Nauru's President Baron Waqa said he appreciated the opportunity to meet with President Modi of India.

He said President Modi was an amazing leader that will likely lift India to a new level because of his policies.

"If you look at his background, he came from a very humble beginning and rose to become the Prime Minister, he said.

"He has a good heart.I am excited and I look forward to meeting him,

President Waqa said he would like to see India take more active participation in the international arena.

India, he said could work with small island countries in the region in areas of development.

Toke Talagi, the Premier of Niue is eager to discuss climate change with the Indian Prime Minister.

"Today is an excellent opportunity for Pacific Leaders to meet the charismatic superstar, Prime Minister Narendra Moti, said Premier Talagi.

"I believe this is a good opportunity to meet, engage and discuss issues affecting Pacific Island Countries.

He said this was the first time to meet with PM Modi and congratulated Fiji for hosting the important meeting.

"One of the issues that I want to highlight is climate change and how we can overcome it."

Premier Talagi recently attended a meeting in New Caledonia with President Francois Hollande of France where they discussed climate change issues.

"The missing link is that we are not working with the industrialists and the private sectors" said Premier Talagi.

He said they needed to work together to overcome the problem.

"Some of the solutions are using alternative energy methods or to have a global legal framework."

Talagi said this could not be done overnight but it should not be left to the future generations.

"Climate is changing and the temperature is rising and we need to put our act together now, said Talagi.

Pacific Leaders are in Suva today to meet with the Prime Minister of India.

SOURCE: FIJI SUN/PACNEWS


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