SUVA, July 28 (Xinhua) — Fijian Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama has sent a message of condolence to his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi, expressing sorrow at the death of India 's former President Abdul Kalam, the Fijian government announced Tuesday.
Kalam, who was India's 11th president from 2002 to 2007, died at the age of 83 during a lecture in the northeastern Indian state of Meghalaya on Monday.
In the message, Bainimarama described Kalam as a great man who became known as India's "People's President" because he was undoubtedly one of the most dearly loved figures in India.
The Fijian prime minister also described Kalam of a great friend of developing countries such as Fiji, and a great believer in South-South cooperation – the ability of developing countries to learn from each other and carve out their own paths to prosperity and happiness.
"We mourn his passing in Fiji and our thoughts and prayers are with his family, the Indian government and the Indian people at this time," said Bainimarama.
According to Fiji's latest census conducted in 2007, over 37 percent Fijian citizens are of Indian descent.