Australia to Step up Pacific Defence With Fiji Partnership and Naval Base

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Australia and Fiji have commenced negotiations for a reciprocal Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) that will allow for the rapid deployment of each other’s militaries to one another’s jurisdictions, and see the construction of a military facility in Fiji. The decision was made in recognition of the “growing sophistication of defence engagement” between Fiji and Australia. Linda Reynolds, Australia’s defence minister, said it made sense for the defence forces of both nations to work closely to strengthen its abilities to work together to “help maintain a resilient and secure region.” “This year, Australia and Fiji have worked shoulder-to-shoulder in response to significant challenges in our region from COVID-19 to Tropical Cyclone Harold,” Reynolds said. “Fiji’s swift and welcome response in deploying the Bula Force to support Australia during the Black Summer Bushfires will never be forgotten.” Fiji Defence Minister Inia Seruiratu noted that despite the challenges of 2020, the bilateral relationship …

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