Traditional Fiji home (illustration)
Traditional Fiji home (illustration) Thinkstock

Fijian President Frank Bainimarama began a three day visit to Israel on Monday ahead of a meeting with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu Tuesday evening, after the latter fired key ministers and sent Israel to snap elections.

Bainimarama, who was elected in September, is the first democratically elected president in Fiji's history. The country has just come off a long period of military dictatorship.

The Fijian president began his visit in the Golan Heights, visiting with Fiji's UN peacekeeping troops who had been kidnapped by Al-Nusra terrorists in the summer. The peacekeepers were captured after rebels stormed a crossing on the Syrian side of the Golan Heights, before being released later.

Bainimarama also met with Foreign Minister Avigfor Liberman (Yisrael Beytenu), who was the first foreign official to call Bainimarama.

In that call, Liberman asked for help in defeating a proposal by Arab states at the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) condemning Israel in September. Thanks to Fiji's vote, the measure was defeated.

Over the past year, the Foreign Ministry has sent two medical teams to Fiji, as well as equipment and devices to help diabetes patients.

Bainimarama thanked Liberman for the Israeli help in the health field, as well as for Israeli assistance on agricultural issues. Bainimarama also stressed Fiji's historic affinity for Israel, and its desire to see a lasting peace in the Middle East.