President Reuven Rivlin began his official visit to Australia after concluding his visit to Fiji, during which he took part in a summit meeting with Pacific Island states.
In the communique at the end of the summit in Fiji, the leaders reiterated the bonds of friendship and solidarity between the State of Israel and the Pacific Island states and between the peoples of the countries that go back decades, based on their shared democratic values and connection to the Bible.
The leaders resolved to continue to strengthen the cooperation between Israel and the Pacific Islands in facing the challenges of sustainable development, based Israel’s capacity in innovation in the fields of public health, water management, food security and others.
The leaders agreed to strengthen efforts to allow greater involvement of the Israeli private sector in sustainable development projects in the Pacfic Islands, and discussed a number of them.
The president announced that 100 places would be available for agriculture students from the Pacific Islands as part of the year-long work/study program at the Arava International Center for Agriculture Training (AICAT), beginning in August 2020. In addition, the president suggested further strengthening the humanitarian assistance Israel offers to the Pacific Island states in emergency situations and natural disasters.
From the airport, the president went to a meeting with Premier of New South Wales Gladys Berejiklian. At the beginning of their meeting, the president expressed his deep appreciation for the premier’s support for the fight against antisemitism and for Holocaust remembrance, and for her warm relations with the Jewish community. The president added his support for the Australian people and the people of New South Wales who had had to deal with the brushfires in the last few months.
The Premier of New South Wales thanked the president, saying, “The Jewish community of New South Wales plays a very significant role for me and I am proud of this special relationship and of the central role of the Jewish community in our society.”