1981 | Ms Indira Gandhi – (September)
Indira Priyadarshini Gandhi daughter of Jawaharlal Nehru, was the first Prime Minister of India to visit Fiji, she arrived on official duties in September 1981 for two and a half weeks.
Part of her itinerary included
- Awarding Indian Independence Medals to several Fijians who returned to India to fight alongside Mahatma Gandhi to achieve independence. ‘Instead of a traditional gesture of ‘Namaste’ to them with her folded palms and moving on to the sumptuous tea laid out for the chief guest and her invited coterie, Indira Gandhi went and hugged each of these old men’
- She was guest of honour at the 1981 Sugar Festival held in Lautoka.
- The Girmit Centre for Multi-Cultural Studies was opened on the 21st of 1981, with several speeches given, ‘The most memorable moment was when, after the speeches and reading, she walked off the heavily decorated dias to meet the surviving girmityas we’d gathered from parts of Viti Levu,’ Professor Nandan recalled.
- 14 acres of prime crown land to commemorate the centenary of the arrival of the first indentured Indians to the islands was provided by the Fijian Government
1985 | US Secretary of State George Shultz
On July 16th, 1985, George P. Shultz met up with The Right Honourable Prime Minister Mara, (Kamisese Mara was appointed Fiji’s first prime minister on 10 October 1970, when Fiji attained its independence from Britain, serving two terms) this was part of his 12-day visit to Asia, which included Thailand, Malaysia, Australia, and Hong Kong listed on the itinerary.
2014 | Prime Minister Narendra Modi – Video Playlist
Prime Minister Narendra Modi arrived in Fiji, Tuesday 19 November 2014, for a day-long visit on the last leg of his three-nation ten-day tour, his busy schedule consisted of a Traditional welcome at Albert Park followed by bilateral talks with his counterpart Frank Bainimarama, addressing parliament, and also meet leaders and representatives of 12 pacific islands nations. he and his entourage touched down at around six o’clock in the morning at the Nausori International Airport, just outside Suva, the same airport Ms. Indira Gandhi had landed 33 years prior.
The Honorable Prime Minister Narendra Modi was welcomed by Prime Minister of Fiji Voreqe Bainimarama and other Government Ministers followed by the tradition of inspecting the guard of honour by the Fiji Military forces. with continued with hundreds of Fijians lining the King’s road as his motorcade made its way to the Grand Pacific Hotel (Main Image)
Prime Minister Modi was then whisked away and hosted by the Grand Pacific Hotel where he rested in the Royal Suite and where he also later attended two (2) GPH ballroom events, the Forum for India-Pacific Islands Cooperation with respective Pacific Island nation leaders, and later a dinner gala with these same leaders and other regional dignitaries and stakeholders. (Grand Pacific Hotel, 2014)
On the eve of Prime Minister Modi arrival, his Fijian counterpart Bainimarama said
‘the visit is an opportunity for his country to further strengthen its position as a regional leader. ‘Prime Minister Modi recognises the great historical link and wants to help us develop our nation in a range of ways which we will discuss’
Fiji and India have 135 years of historical and friendly relations and a formal diplomatic relationship was established in 1970
“I regard Fiji as an important partner for India. We have deep and enduring ties of history and culture. Fiji is an influential voice in the Pacific Region and the developing world, and our partner in multilateral institutions,” PM Modi said after his meeting with Frank Bainimarama.
2014 | Chinese President Xi Jinping – Video Playlist
The historic first state visit to Fiji by a Chinese leader, President Xi Jinping with his large delegation arrived on a two-day visit to Fiji on Friday, November 21st, 2014, the same week as the Honorable Prime Minister Narendra Modi from India (above)
On arrival at the Nadi International Airport, the Chinese President was accorded a Guard of Honour mounted by members of the Republic of Fiji Military Forces. He was also received by senior Fijian government officials including the Hon. Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama.
The Chinese President’s two-day visit to Fiji – was centered around Denarau Island – his itinerary included full ceremonial and traditional welcomes, State Banquets hosted by both the Fijian President, Ratu Epeli Nailatikau, and Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama, with bilateral talks with leaders of Fiji, Papua New Guinea, Tonga, Samoa, Vanuatu, Micronesia, Cook Islands, and Niue, throughout the day.
Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama said Fiji was greatly honoured by President Xi’s visit.
“China is a great friend of Fiji’s and while our formal relationship stretches back to 1975, it’s the first time we have been able to host a Chinese leader here. It’s a clear sign both of the deep ties we have developed and the importance that China places on Fiji’s leadership in the Pacific”, the PM said.
‘he was also looking forward to hosting other Pacific leaders in Fiji and giving them the opportunity to meet the President. “ As the second biggest economy in the world, China is increasingly important for the entire region and especially our own economies. We very much welcome its desire to engage more fully with us and these meetings will take our ties to a new level”, he said.
2020 & 2022 | Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern – Video Playlist
New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has visited Fiji twice during her tenureship, to build upon the historic relationship between the two nations, key topics of discussion between Fiji and New Zealand’s bilateral meeting are climate change in the Pacific, improving the balance of trade and development co-operation. Ceremony duties included tree planting, wreath laying at the National War Memorial to state dinner engagements to build a cross-party relationship with the present and opposition members of parliament.
- New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern Official Fiji Tour: Day 1
- New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern Official Fiji Tour: Day 2
2022 | US Secretary of State Antony Blinken – Video
The US Secretary of State, Antony Blinken the most senior-ranking United States government official to visit Fiji since 1985. He was greeted at Nadi Airport by Acting Prime Minister Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum, members of the cabinet, and other senior government officials. This visit was very brief, totaling only 6 hours.
‘His remarks alluded to a growing unease among the U.S. leaders eying the Pacific’s island nations — that China is expanding its political and economic influence in the region.’