Posts tagged Troops

FIJI COMMITS A FURTHER 380 TROOPS TO GOLAN HEIGHTS

The Prime Minister, Voreqe Bainimarama, has announced that a further 380 Fijian troops are being sent to join the United Nations peacekeeping force in the Golan Heights.

The contingent will leave Fiji at the end of the month to link up with the 183 Fijians who have already been deployed in the troubled zone that separates Israel and Syria.

The Prime Minister made the announcement at an official dinner in Honiara at the end of the first day of his current visit to Solomon Islands.

He also revealed that Russia – a key player in the Middle East  – has offered to assist Fiji with the UN deployment.

He said that during his recent visit to Moscow, both the Prime Minister, Dmitry Medvedev and his Foreign Minister, Sergey Lavrov, had endorsed Fiji’s participation and offered Russia’s help.

The Prime Minister said Fiji was also grateful for the support of its South Pacific neighbours for the deployment and especially its partners in the Melanesian Spearhead group.

He said his two-year tenure as Chair of the MSG – which concluded last month – had been an exciting time and the organisation had been able to achieve a great deal.

The dinner in Honiara was attended by more than 100 people, including the Governor-General and Prime Minister of the Solomons, Government ministers from both countries, diplomats and members of the Solomons and Fijian business communities.

The Prime Minister thanked Solomon Islands for honouring Fiji by inviting him to be Chief Guest at the celebrations tomorrow to commemorate the 35th anniversary of Solomons Independence.

The PM singled out several people in the audience for special mention, including three Fijian veterans of the Solomons campaign in World War Two -Sergeant Major Eliki Vuniwawa, Lance Corporal Ilimotama Wave and Commando Watisoni Seru.

He also highlighted the presence in the Fijian delegation of two senior Government officials, Pio Tikoduadua and Inia Seruiratu, who had both commanded Fijian peacekeepers under RAMSI – the Regional Assistance Mission To Solomon Islands.

PUBLIC FAREWELL SOLDIERS BOUND FOR GOLAN HEIGHTS

Thousands of people today braved the drizzling rain and strong winds to join the President His Excellency Ratu Epeli Nailatikau and Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama to officially farewell Fijian troops leaving for Syrian Golan Heights at Albert Park.

Ratu Epeli reminded the soldiers that they will be working in a volatile environment.

“The situation calls for dedication, teamwork and courage and the highest level of discipline both regimental and personal,” Ratu Epeli said.

He encouraged them to be professional in carrying out their duties.

“We have always risen to the occasion and earned the respect of those around us. I am confident that on this mission you will do the same,” Ratu Epeli added.

Ratu Epeli also commended relatives of the soldiers who braved the rain this morning to farewell their loved ones.

“Your strength in keeping the home base safe and secure will contribute in a big way to the success of our troops on deployment. It is heartening to see you turn out in numbers today. This is a reassuring sign of your support. The nation thanks you,” Ratu Epeli said.

Fiji Ex-servicemen Association vice president Mr Panapasa Vakacegu said the association wished the troops well for their deployment in Golan Heights.

“It was a wonderful site watching our brave soldiers marching during the parade this morning. On behalf of our association I am wishing them the best in trying to keep peace in the Syrian Golan Heights,”  Mr Vakacegu said.

The soldiers will depart Fiji on Wednesday June 26, 2013.

Fijian Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama Addresses the Nation on Troops leaving for Golan Heights