Solomon Islands’ Change in Tone Visible During PM Sogavare’s Australia Visit
By The Owner News
Solomon Islands Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare told his Australian counterpart Anthony Albanese on Thursday he would not do anything that undermined Pacific security and would not allow military bases in his country under a security deal with Communist China, media reported.
Solomon Islands will not do anything that will undermine our national security and jeopardise the security of any or all Pacific Island forum countries, the ABC reported Sogavare as saying at the start of the meeting.
I reiterate again that Solomon Islands will never be used for foreign military installations or institutions of foreign countries because this will not be in the interest of Solomon Islands and its people, he stressed.
Mr. Sogavare met Mr. Albanese in a brief visit to Canberra, and the Australian Broadcasting Corp reported he said Australia remained the development partner of choice for Solomon Islands.
According to the statement, both leaders discussed bilateral ties, the climate crisis, and “shared aspirations for a peaceful, prosperous and resilient Pacific”.
Mr. Sogavare thanked Mr. Albanese for a “kind offer” to fund the country’s next elections, which were due to be held in 2023 but which Mr. Sogavare has delayed to 2024 due to Solomon Islands hosting the Pacific Games next year, according to the ABC.
That was a change in tone from last month, when Mr. Sogavare criticised the offer of election funding as “interference”.