Fiji's Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama has come to the defence of Jacinda Ardern following comments from an Australian broadcaster.
Talkback radio host Alan Jones said on his Breakfast Show that Ardern was a "complete clown" and that Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison should "shove a sock down her throat".
- 'Shove a sock down her throat': Australian broadcaster Alan Jones blasts Jacinda Ardern
- Jacinda Ardern commits $150 million to fight climate change in the Pacific
- Scott Morrison 'as welcome as diarrhea in a wetsuit' at Pacific Islands Forum
In response to Jones' comments, Bainimarama tweeted Thursday: "Easy to tell someone to shove a sock down a throat when you're sitting in the comfort of a studio. The people of the Pacific, forced to abandon their homes due to climate change, don’t have that luxury. Try saying it to a Tuvaluan child pleading for help."
Bainimarama, Morrison and Ardern are in Tuvalu for the Pacific Islands Forum.
Leaders at the forum have urged Australia to reduce its emissions, with Fiji's leader appealing to Australia to "do everything possible to achieve a rapid transition from coal to energy sources that do not contribute to climate change."
Jones' controversial comment came after Ardern told media that Australia "has to answer to the Pacific - that is a matter for them".
Talking about Ardern on his radio show, Jones said, "here she is preaching on global warming and saying that we’ve got to do something about climate change. I just wonder whether Scott Morrison is going to be fully briefed to shove a sock down her throat."
In a Facebook post, Jones also called Ardern a "lightweight" and said he "doesn't have a problem with carbon dioxide" and that it's "these swallowers of the hoax that seem to be worrying".
Former Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull also chimed in to the debate, responded to Bainimarama's comment with a tweet saying, "Well said Frank. Jones should also apologise to @jacindaardern for his latest misogynistic rant."