Suva, Nov 16:
India Prime Minister Narendra Modi says he is excited ahead of his visit to Fiji, home to a large ethnic Indian population, next week.
In a statement, Modi said it will be a privilege to visit Fiji soon after this year’s elections in this Pacific island nation.
“We also owe them a debt of gratitude for hosting our scientists on the island in support of our Mars mission,” Modi said.
“We can build stronger economic cooperation and closer partnership in international and multilateral forums with our friends in Pacific Island.”
The Indian prime minister said he looked forward “to a future of regular engagement and more robust cooperation with Fiji and other Pacific Island countries”.
Modi is also expected to visit the parliamentary complex and make school visits. He will leave for India Nov 20.
He will be the second Indian prime minister to visit Fiji after the late Indira Gandhi’s tour in 1981.
Ethnic Indians comprise 37 percent of Fiji’s population of nearly 900,000.
Most of them are descendants of indentured labourers who were brought in from India between 1879 and 1916 to work in the country’s sugarcane plantations.