198 Fijians to return home from Israel tomorrow morning
Flight 2394 also successfully repartriated Australians, New Zealanders, Samoans, Canadians, Filipino and Americans

198 Fijians to return home from Israel tomorrow morning

Flight 2394 also successfully repartriated Australians, New Zealanders, Samoans, Canadians, Filipino and Americans

By Navitalai Naivalurua
Wednesday 11/10/2023
Minister for Home Affairs and Immigration Pio Tikoduadua

198 Fijians including 13 Fijian students studying Agriculture in Israel were successfully repatriated by Fiji Airways flight 2394, which landed at Ben Gurion Airport, Tel Aviv, last night with a mission to bring Fijians home.

Minister for Home Affairs and Immigration Pio Tikoduadua says this flight not only brought back 198 Fijians, but also a diverse group of international travellers, including 13 Australians, 16 New Zealanders, 8 Samoans, 2 Canadians, 2 Filipinos and 2 Americans.

Tikoduadua says such a vast and varied repatriation stands as a testament to the nation's commitment to the welfare of its citizens and a demonstration of international solidarity.

He says the safety and well-being of our citizens, both within our borders and abroad, remain the paramount priority of the Government under the visionary leadership of Prime Minister Sitiveni Rabuka.

He adds they have maintained active communication with the Israeli Government amidst the ongoing conflict situation and have also put the National Integrated Coordination Center on high alert to monitor the situation in Israel.

The Minister says a team comprising of the Ministry of Home Affairs, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the RFMF, and the Police met this morning to discuss their options and next steps.

Tikoduadua says the audacious commitment of Fiji Airways, especially the valiant crew members who chose to fly into a nation at war, cannot be overstated.

He also says their unyielding courage reflects the Fijian spirit of resilience and commitment, proving that the safety of our people is paramount.

He adds their bravery stands as a testament to Fiji's dedication and the lengths we are willing to go to protect and care for our own.

The Minister says they are in ongoing coordination with the Israel Defense Forces and international entities to locate and support Fijians who may still be in the Middle East, including those serving in UN Missions such as UNIFIL, UNDOF, UNTSO, MFO, and the Guard Force in Iraq.

Tikoduadua says the stories of resilience, unity and courage from our repatriated citizens and those still serving overseas bolster our national resolve.

He says this operation and our ongoing efforts emphasize Fiji's commitment to its people, our place as a responsible global actor, and our unyielding Fijian spirit.

Prime Minister Sitiveni Rabuka will welcome everyone arriving in flight 2394 in Nadi at 3am tomorrow.

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