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28/8/12 - CABINET APPROVES MEMORANDUM OF UNDERSTANDING BETWEEN FIJI AND THE REPUBLIC OF KOREA
Cabinet has approved that a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) be signed between Fiji and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK/North Korea).
The MOU will be signed at the margin of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) Meeting to be held in Tehran between the 27th to the 31st August 2012.
Cabinet based its decision on a submission by the Minister for Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Ratu Inoke Kubuabola.
Fiji’s foreign policy accedes to an “open door policy” which is underpinned by Pillar 11 of the Road Map on “Enhancing Global Integration and International Relations” and based on this approach Fiji continues to openly engage with all members of the international community.
The MOU is expected to set the foundation for expansion of bilateral consultation and exchange of views to facilitate cooperation and exchange in the fields of politics, economy and culture between the two countries.
Fiji first established diplomatic relations with DPRK on 14th April 1975. From 1987-2001, Fiji suspended this diplomatic tie as part of the collective action of the international community against the bombing of a South Korea airliner in 1987.
Fiji resumed diplomatic relations with DPRK in 2002 with the consideration that the resumption fits into Fiji’s “Look North Policy” in expanding Fiji’s circle of friends within Asia.
In addition to this, the resumption was also agreed upon following the admission of DPRK to the United Nations in 1991.
Both countries share common interests with respect to emphasis of sovereignty and independence and the MOU will also complement our “Look North” Foreign Policy to continue to expand our international bid to move away from being overly reliant on our traditional bilateral partners.
Both countries have important roles to play in their own regions and this could be effectively harnessed through close bilateral relations.
Despite the geographical distance and differing levels of development, both countries are cognizant of the common development needs and challenges.