Union minister Subhash Bhamre is on a three-day visit to Nauru — a tiny island-country in the central Pacific Ocean — amidst India’s increasing interaction with the region. Bhamre, the minister of state for defence, was the chief guest at the 50th anniversary celebrations of Constitution Day of Nauru yesterday, a Defence Ministry statement said.
On his maiden visit to the island-country that began on Wednesday, the minister was introduced to the Nauruan Cabinet by President Baron Divavesi Waqa. During the meeting, wide-ranging discussions were held to further enhance and deepen the bilateral relations between the two countries. The two sides discussed projects relating to climate change, renewable energy, health, education, capacity building and infrastructure, the statement said.
Bhamre hailed the “wise-and-farsighted” leadership of Waqa and called India and Nauru as “friends, who have transcended the geographical barriers of great distances and have come together to jointly face the common challenges”, it said. The minister conveyed that India will be offering 22 Mahindra SUVs and two Tata buses worth USD 706,000 to the country, it added.
The central Pacific country will be hosting the 49th Pacific Islands Forum Leaders’ meet in September this year. India had earlier supported the island-nation with police uniforms for the Nauru Police Force to mark the 50th Independence Day of the country on January 31 this year.
In 2007, India had supplied one 16-seater mini van for the country’s MPs, one eight-seater for its Parliament Speaker and two 30-seater buses for school children.
New Delhi has been increasing its interaction with the region. Prime Minister Narendra Modi had hosted the first Forum for India-Pacific Islands Cooperation (FIPIC-I) summit in Suva, Fiji, during his visit in November 2014, which saw the participation of 14 Pacific countries.