In an exclusive interview with the first Adventist President of Fiji, Major General Jioji Konusi Konrote has called on all church members to remain faithful to God and show reverence for God in all that they do.
A former career soldier from Rotuma Island in Northern Fiji, he had served in war-torn countries including the Middle East and placed his safety in his faith in God.
While his country is making waves globally on climate change as Chair of COP23, the President who was accompanied by the First Lady, Sarote Faga Konrote, arrived in Port Vila on a low key mission as Chancellor of USP, to attend the graduation ceremony at Emalus Campus on December 1.
He and his entourage which included Fiji High Commissioner to Vanuatu, Solomon Islands and Papua New Guinea, Esala Teleni, worshipped at Potoroki Church last Sabbath (Saturday).
Prior to becoming Head of State, he held the Portfolio of Minister for Employment, Productivity and Industrial Relations and served as Fiji High Commissioner to Canberra from 2001-2006
He also served as Commanding Officer of Peacekeeping Missions in the Middle East in Lebanon and Sinai.
He was elected Fiji’s 5th President on October 12, 2015 and the first President to be elected by Parliament under the 2013 Constitution.
He was also the first non-ni Taukei (a Rotuman) to be elected President. He first came to Vanuatu to attend late President Baldwin Lonsdale’s funeral last June.
Asked to touch on global leaders he has held talks with in recent times, the President said he has met with numerous world dignitaries including Queen Elizabeth now over 90 years old. He spoke well of the Queen saying she was in good health. His ten-minute appointment with her extended to a 45 minutes audience!
He also had an audience with the Pope who controls approximately one billion Catholics. A key point he dwelled on with the Pope is addressing climate change as Fiji holds the COP23 Chair and wants to protect the interests especially of small island countries in the Pacific, and also to advance the global cause so it will be helpful when handing over the COP Chairmanship to Poland. He met with numerous non-Christian leaders, Muslims and even atheists where he advocated unity and peace.
After meeting the Queen in London, European leaders in Brussels asked why he was going to Iraq and Syria as they are trouble spots. He replied that he is a former soldier himself, and now as the President of Fiji, he has faith in God’s protection to visit Fijian Peacekeepers in these countries.
The President said as much as he would have loved to stay for the Games in Port Vila, his other commitments at home would not allow him to extend his stay. He returned to Fiji yesterday.
Source: Daily Post