New Zealand to help Fiji fight transnational crimes: PM

Source: Xinhua| 2020-02-25 19:11:42|Editor: huaxia

SUVA, Feb. 25 (Xinhua) -- Visiting New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said on Tuesday that her government will help Fiji to fight transnational crimes.

Ardern, who held talks with her Fijian counterpart Voreqe Bainimarama on Tuesday, said that New Zealand and Fiji faced challenges with the ever-growing issue of drug fight at the borders and this is the reason her government will be giving a total of 11 million New Zealand dollars (about 6.9 million U.S. dollars) for this.

The assistance will include the setting up of three labs in May, coupled with four full-time experts to work with the Fiji Police Force as well as the provision of trained tracker dogs to help detect drugs.

Ardern said she continues to support Fijian prime minister in the fight against climate change, adding Fiji can count on New Zealand to partner in this fight.

Other issues discussed between the two prime ministers included COVID-19 and PACER (the Pacific Agreement on Closer Economic Relations) Plus, which is a proposed free trade agreement between the Forum Islands Countries (FICs) and Australia and New Zealand.

For his part, Bainimarama said New Zealand is Fiji's second-largest regional trading partner and every year, tens of thousands of Kiwis visit Fiji.

Bainimarama said the two leaders spoke at great length of new avenues of regional economic opportunity.

Ardern arrived here on Monday night for her first four-day official visit to Fiji.