Nauru President hails Australia visit a success

Nauru President Baron Waqa says his four-day visit to Australia was a great success and reaffirmed the friendship and cooperation between the two neighbours.

It was the first official visit to Australia by a Nauruan President in more than 20 years.

Waqa, who was accompanied by his wife, Madam Louisa Waqa, met with Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and senior members of his cabinet during the visit, which included stops in Sydney, Canberra and Brisbane.

As expected, the topic of the regional processing centre was raised in discussions with Turnbull, and President Waqa said he was confident the US-Australia deal would go ahead and some of the refugees on Nauru would be transferred to the United States.

The President used the opportunity to talk about the work the Government is doing with settlement of refugees, and the country’s role in assisting to stop people smuggling.

“I believe the way we look after and care for asylum seekers and refugees is a best practice in the world,” he said.

While in Sydney, Waqa also met with senior representatives at the Asian Development Bank for an update of the progress of the proposed port, a project that is vital for Nauru’s future.

In Canberra, Waqa had a full schedule that included a tour of the Mount Majura Solar Farm and discussions on renewable energy with senior management.

He laid a wreath at the Australian War Memorial and was officially welcomed at Government House by the Governor-General of Australia, Sir Peter Cosgrove and Lady Cosgrove.

Waqa and Madam Louisa planted a tree at the National Arboretum and toured the National Gallery of Australia.

The president wrapped up his visit in Brisbane where he met with the Governor of Queensland Paul de Jersey, and toured the Port of Brisbane.

President said the trip would bring long-term benefits to Nauru.

“I’d like to thank the Australian Government for their hospitality, for recognising the importance of the partnership with Nauru and for committing to work with us in the future.

“This visit has also created some important strategic relationships between Nauru and those across the political, government and corporate sectors, and will benefit our nation into the future,” he said.


Twitter Govt of Nauru: President Baron and the delegation with Aust High Commissioner to Nauru discussing renewable energy at Mt Majura Solar Farm in ACT