German foreign minister sets off on South Pacific trip

German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock sets off on Wednesday on a week-long trip to Australia, New Zealand and Fiji where the focus will be on security policy and climate protection.

The Indo-Pacific region, where the three destinations are located, is becoming increasingly important to Germany for strategic and economic reasons.

Baerbock actually wanted to visit the countries last August, but had to cancel the trip after a stopover in Abu Dhabi, when her government plane developed a series of mechnical problems.

The trip has now been rescheduled with a slightly different itinerary. She will first travel to Adelaide in Australia on Wednesday, then on to the New Zealand city of Auckland on Friday evening and from there to Fiji, which extends over 300 islands in the South Pacific, on Sunday.

With a population of just under 1 million, Fiji is one of the countries most affected by climate change. Residents on some islands have already had to be evacuated because they face flooding from rising sea levels. Baerbock will be the first German foreign minister to visit the island state.

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