Deputy Prime Minister Robert Tapaitau will represent the Government of the Cook Islands at Samoa’s 60th/61st Independence Celebrations to be held in Apia this week.
In a statement, the Office of the Prime Minister said
an invitation was received from Samoa Prime Minister Honourable Fiame Naomi
Mata’afa to Cook Islands Prime Minister Honourable Mark Brown to attend the
60th Anniversary of Independence on May 31 and simultaneously celebrate the
61st Independence Anniversary to be officially marked on June 1, 2023.
“Due to Prime Minister Brown’s unavailability to
travel to Samoa because of a prior engagement to attend a summit in the
Republic of Korea, the Deputy Prime Minister will represent the Government of
the Cook Islands at this momentous celebration.”
Minister Tapaitau says it is an honour to be invited
to celebrate such a great milestone, as Samoa was one of the first Pacific
nations to decolonise and gain independence.
“We have always shared a close bond with Samoa and
value our close relationship as one of seven founding members of the Pacific
Islands Forum,” Tapaitau said.
Diplomatic relations between Samoa and the Cook
Islands were established on August 30, 2013.
Throughout the years, the Cook Islands have maintained
respectable relations with Samoa.
DPM Tapaitau departed the country yesterday and will return
to the Cook Islands on Sunday, June 4.