Suva, Fiji, 16 September 2023 - Prime Minister the Honourable Mark Brown supported by Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Immigration (MFAI) Secretary Tepaeru Herrmann, met with the President of Kiribati, the Honourable Taneti Ma'amau yesterday in the margins of the Forum Foreign Ministers Meeting (FFMM) which Prime Minister Brown chaired at the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat.
On the bilateral front, the two Leaders discussed air and sea transport connectivity and opportunities for possible future connectivity that build on pre-COVID links. Discussions also touched on the shared maritime border between the Cook Islands and Kiribati as well as prior labour mobility arrangements between the Cook Islands and Kiribati in the northern Cook Islands.
Prime Minister Brown also provided an update on the Cook Islands' preparations to host the 52nd Pacific Islands Forum Leaders Meeting (PIFLM52) in Rarotonga and Aitutaki in November, including a special commercial flight the Cook Islands hoped could be arranged with Fiji Airways to support direct travel by Forum Leaders between Nadi and Rarotonga to minimise travel time and cost.
The two Leaders also discussed a number of regional issues including the Forum Troika mechanism, finalisation of the 2050 Strategy for the Blue Pacific Implementation Plan, and the Cook Islands proposal for Pacific Partnerships for Prosperity (PPfP). Both Leaders, along with other Pacific Leaders, will travel to New York for the 78th United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) where both will advocate for various Pacific priorities.
Recommendations emanating from yesteday's FFMM will be considered by the 52nd Pacific Islands Forum Leaders Meeting that will convene in Rarotonga and Aitutaki in November.