FIJI, July 12, -- Fijian Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama has reiterated Fiji's offer to provide the people of Kiribati with a permanent home if their nation is affected by climate change, the Fijian government announced Sunday.

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Kiribati. Photo / Xinhuanet

In a congratulatory message to the Kiribati President Anote Tong for their 37th Independence Day anniversary, Bainimarama said that the people of Kiribati should not fear being climate refugees, according to Fiji's Department of Information.

"Our door will always be open to you. And the spirit of Kiribati will continue to burn brightly in the hearts of its people for generations to come...You can be sure that Fijians will stand shoulder to shoulder with the people of Kiribati in our joint effort to secure binding cuts in carbon emissions from the industrialized nations at the forthcoming World Climate Summit in Paris," Bainimarama said in the message.

Bainimarama lauded Tong's efforts in putting the Pacific's collective case for global action on climate change and stated that Tong's speeches have been powerful and well-argued.

"I look forward to continuing to work closely with you in strengthening our bilateral relationship as we pursue areas of mutual interest for the benefit of our people," said Bainimarama.

Warming oceans and rising sea levels threaten Kiribati, a low- lying small island nation. Endi