Permanent Representative Visits Iraq and Kuwait
Fiji’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Ambassador Peter Thomson, has returned to New York from a week’s visit to Kuwait and Iraq. He travelled to Kuwait as a guest of the Kuwait Government in a delegation of UN Ambassadors from developing countries. In addition to meetings with the Kuwait Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the UN Ambassadors met with the boards of the Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development, the Kuwait Diplomatic Institute, the Kuwait Petroleum Corporation and the Kuwait Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
Ambassador Thomson held bilateral consultations with the Director of Operations of the Kuwait Fund and presented a dossier of Fiji infrastructure projects for the consideration of the Kuwait Fund. Discussions focussed on Fiji water and sanitation projects, as the Fund is a world leader in the provision of soft loan funding for these sectors in developing countries. Consideration of the Fiji projects is ongoing.
While in The Gulf region, Ambassador Thomson took the opportunity to visit Baghdad to meet with the United Nations Assistance Mission in Iraq (UNAMI). UNAMI is guarded by a contingent of the Fiji Military Forces, in the form of 1Bn FIR, at a current strength in Iraq of 331 men and women. Fiji has provided this protective service to the UN’s operation in Iraq since 2004.
As well as meeting with the Fijian UNAMI contingent, Ambassador Thomson held talks with UNAMI officials to address issues of common concern. While in Baghdad, Ambassador Thomson also visited the Iraq Ministry of Foreign Affairs to address procedures for streamlining the issuance of Iraqi visas for Fijian UNAMI personnel.
UNAMI Guard Post, Diwan Compound, Baghdad, Ambassador Thomson with officers and soldiers of 1Bn FIR