Fiji gears up to give Modi a king’s welcome

  • HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times
  • Updated: Nov 06, 2014 00:04 IST

Fiji is quite gung-ho about Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s upcoming visit to the South Pacific Island nation. Modi will be the first Indian PM to visit Fiji on November 19 after a gap of 33 years, the first being Indira Gandhi in 1981.

The PM’s historic tour to Fiji has been sliced out of his visits to Myanmar and Australia.

Fijian high commissioner to India Yogesh J Karan told HT on Wednesday, “There’s so much excitement about the Indian PM’s visit to Suva. People are asking why Modi can’t stay back longer.”

Fijian PM Voreqe Bainimarama was one of the first international leaders to have congratulated Modi after the BJP was voted to power in May.

Karan said the traditional welcome Fiji would extend to the Prime Minister had in the past been given to top global personalities such as Queen Elizabeth, Prince Charles and Indira Gandhi.

He said Modi would also address a joint session of Fijian Parliament.

Karan said, “Modi is one of the most admired leaders of the world. It’s a privilege for Fiji to host him.”

Indians first settled in the Fiji islands in the 19th century and 42% of Fijian population is of Indian origin.

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