New Delhi, Feb 12 IANS | 10 months ago

India, the world's largest democracy, will provide indelible ink, vehicles and training for election officials to Fiji, where long-awaited general elections are due in September.

This was announced by External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid during an interaction here with Fijian Foreign Minister Ratu Inoke Kubuabola.

The South Pacific Ocean island nation last year adopted a new constitution.

"We shall be providing Fiji with indelible ink for the elections, vehicles for the Election Commission and training of election and parliamentary officials as our contribution towards Fiji's march towards a democratic polity," Khurshid said in his address.

Kubuabola said the elections would be a "truly democratic" with "one man one vote".

Describing Fiji as an important partner in the region and as part of India's Look East Policy, Khurshid said India welcomes the "positive developments initiated by the Fiji authorities for the population of Indian origin in recent times".

He said both sides have agreed to boost cooperation in the area of agriculture, especially in the sugar sector.

"The upgradation programme provided by India has helped to increase sugar yield, strengthen capacity building and promote technology transfer," he said, adding that India is embarking on a second Line of Credit for Fiji's sugar sector.

India is also considering cooperation on a co-generation project in the sector.

India and Fiji are also cooperating in the health sector. Khurshid said India also sees the prospect of Fiji emerging as a regional hub for generic medicines sourced from India to provide affordable healthcare.

Cultural exchanges between the two nations are growing, said Khurshid, adding that several Indian filmmakers have been travelling to Fiji for shooting films.

Two ships from India were docked at Fiji for monitoring from the Pacific Ocean the launch of the Mars Orbiter Mission in November 2013.

India and Fiji inked three Memoranda of Understanding on Development Cooperation, Water Resource Management and Standards.

(Posted on 12-02-2014)

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