Iceland forges diplomatic ties with Fiji

The first diplomatic ties between Fiji, an island nation in the South Pacific, and Iceland were established this month, reports the Fiji Times.

Mason Smith, the Charge d’Affaires for Fiji at the United Nations in New York, signed a joint communiqué between the two countries, signalling a mutual understanding of sovereignty and independence.

Iceland first broached the idea of the pact with Fiji in April 2004. According to Smith, it has taken the Fijian government almost four years to finalise the offer.

“Despite this delay,” Smith said, “I am indeed honoured and humbled to have been chosen by destiny to be here today, to effect this instrument, on behalf of the peoples and the Government of Fiji. This is indeed a historic day for Fiji; we now know and are very proud to officially claim that we have island friends in the North Atlantic Ocean.”

Smith said that Iceland served as an example and inspiration to Fiji. In the last 60 years, he said, Iceland has gone from a poor nation to one that inspires envy.

“Your struggle, dedication, focus, unity of purpose and unity of people is a highway to which we in Fiji – desire our feeder road to lead,” he said.

A delegation from Iceland will visit Suva, the capital of Fiji, in April 2008.