Their colonial, nuclear past means the US must guarantee full rights to the Marshallese, says Frank Bainimarama, who also launched a broadside at the G20

Fijian prime minister Frank Bainimarama (Photo: COP PARIS)

The Fijian prime minister has called on the US to open its borders and offer a permanent home to the population of the Marshall Islands, which is threatened by rising seas.

Speaking at a meeting of the Climate Action Pacific Partnership in the Fijian capital of Suva, Frank Bainimarama told low-lying Pacific states “even if the battle to keep your islands above the water is lost, we will continue to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with you. Fiji has offered to give permanent refuge to the people of Kiribati and Tuvalu, our closest neighbours under threat”.

He called on the US to do the same for the Marshall Islands, which the US held as a territory for almost four decades after World War II and used as a testing ground for 67 nuclear weapons tests.

“We expect the United States to do the same for the people of the Marshall Islands – who share your plight – because of their long-standing historical ties,” said Bainimarama.

The highest point on the Marshall islands lies just a few metres above sea level, making it among the…