Speaking during his commissioning, Mr Oti acknowledged the responsibility bestowed on him to take charge of the country’s international affairs in promoting and safe-guarding relations with Fiji would not be an easy task.
However, he said the expectation of the government and the citizens of this country should not be compromised; thus would be defended.
“The promotion of the nation’s interest in the political, economic, social and cultural spheres will always remain paramount in the discharge of my duties,” Mr Oti said.
“I am fully mindful to my dual responsibility as the channel to which Fiji and Solomon Islands can interchange and dialogue on matters of mutual interest, notwithstanding of course, that there will be occasions in which we will defer and be divergent on certain issues.”
Mr Oti added that the art of diplomacy must be tested and mutual gain without losing sight of his purpose would remain his corner stone of success.
Governor General Sir Frank Kabui reminded Mr Oti that his main task is to represent and promote the interests of the government in Fiji.
Sir Frank told Mr Oti that the government and people of Solomon Islands expect him to provide sound advice and deliberation on all matters during his time in office.
“These could be political, economic, social and cultural and at no time should these be compromised by personal interests and other forms of persuasions,” the Governor General said.
“Your full commitment is therefore expected as you are the link between Solomon Islands and Fiji and in true Solomon Islands tradition, your office and home will be the safe haven for Solomon Islanders in times of need.”
Sir Frank also highlighted that the maintenance of permanent diplomatic missions overseas is a very costly exercise; thus, the operating cost of these is substantial and considering the country’s weak financial situation, cost-saving measures must be undertaken.
“Extravagance must be avoided at all costs,” Sir Frank advised Mr Oti.
Sir Frank said with Mr Oti’s personal qualities and experience his appointment was not an accident.
“On behalf of Queen Elizabeth the Second I congratulate you on your appointment,” Sir Frank said.
Mr Oti will depart to Suva today to take up his new post.
By DOUGLAS MARAU
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