“Fiji is an important partner in the South Pacific, and it was important for me to come here to see the region first-hand, meet with my counterparts – specifically Admiral Naupoto and Captain Tawake – and discuss areas for mutual cooperation. I was also honored to spend time with the Prime Minister today as well.
“Both the United States and Fiji have many concerns about maritime domain awareness. By partnering together through our shiprider agreement and joint military training, we can improve maritime security in many ways – from combatting illegal drug trafficking to curbing unreported, unregulated, and illegal fishing.
“Our nations’ military-to-military relationship has expanded in the past few years and I am encouraged that the bond of friendship forged between our navies continues to grow stronger through leadership engagements like this, ship visits to Fiji like USS Stockdale in port Suva right now, and our other senior leader discussions at ISS (International Seapower Symposium) and WPNS (Western Pacific Naval Symposium).
“Going forward, we are committed to further strengthening and expanding cooperation between our two navies. It is our hope that these talks will identify new areas for collaboration in order to help maintain security, stability and prosperity within the region.”