New Zealand and the Republic of Fiji have today signed a Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) to further strengthen the defence relationship between the Pacific partners.
Defence Minister, Andrew Little and his Fiji counterpart, Minister for Home Affairs and Immigration, Pio Tikoduadua, (both pictured) signed the agreement in Suva and discussed a range of issues facing the region.
“The SOFA is a legal framework for the New Zealand Defence Force and the Republic of Fiji Military Forces for closer cooperation within each other’s territories,” Minister Little said.
“As nations of the Pacific, we face a number of significant security challenges. We know climate change will be one of the most significant challenges of our lifetime, and the need to work together to mitigate its effects, will only increase in the coming years.
“This agreement reflects the value New Zealand places on our relationship with Fiji and is important for our militaries to work together more effectively, including during our frequent exercises, and humanitarian assistance and disaster response cooperation,” he said.
A Statement of Intent was also signed outlining the priorities for defence cooperation between the two nations. The agreed priorities include training, maritime security and disaster and humanitarian response co-ordination.
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