Photo Credit: Kobi Gideon / GPO
PM of Fiji with Ruby Rivlin. Feb 20, 2020

The South Pacific island country of Fiji announced on Monday that its first embassy in Israel will open next year.

Israeli Foreign Minister Eli Cohen welcomed the announcement, calling Fiji a “true friend” of Israel.


“I congratulate the Fijian government on an important decision that will strengthen and deepen the relations between the two countries,” said Cohen.

“Fiji has proven in recent years that it is a true friend of Israel in the international arena as well. The opening of the Fijian embassy brings us another step closer to the goal we set, of 100 embassies in Israel,” said Cohen.

Fiji’s will be the 98th embassy to the Jewish state. Most of the embassies are located in Tel Aviv, with the rest in the capital Jerusalem.

In a separate development, Fijian authorities confirmed that three United Nations personnel arrested by Israel for smuggling liquid cocaine into Israel on Sunday were Fijian soldiers from the the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force mission.

UNDOF is an international peacekeeping mission that has been monitoring the Israeli-Syrian ceasefire since the Yom Kippur War of 1973.

“The headquarters of the Fiji Battalion in UNDOF has been liaising with the Israeli authorities regarding this matter,” said Major-General Ro Jone Kalouniwai of the Republic of Fiji Military Forces. “The RFMF maintains a zero-tolerance stance on any criminal activities by its members.”

Israel and Fiji have maintained ties since 1970. Israel maintains a consulate in Suva under the supervision of the Israeli embassy in Australia.

“Increasing the number of embassies in Israel proves Israel’s value to the world and the desire to access our capabilities in the fields of innovation, economics and science,” said Cohen.

In a statement, Fijian Prime Minister Sitiveni Rabuka said that the embassy moves would be considered next Friday in the 2023-204 national budget announcement.

Fiji has “maintained amicable relations with the State of Israel, through bilateral cooperation on peace and security, and areas such as agriculture,” said Rabuka.


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