Offers of support from visiting diplomatic envoys

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DEAR EDITOR, a letter of mine was published in your newspaper yesterday in which I had mentioned that my website – www.solomonislandsinfocus.com – which I had designed and introduce some four years ago to bring news of events in the Solomon Islands, as well as promoting locally made crafts, such as carved wooden bowls and other carved objects, attracts a growing international audience.

To satisfy such an outside audience I have often posted news on the aid provided by Solomon Islands traditional partners such as Australia, New Zealand, Canada, the European Union, Japan, Taiwan, Korea, the United States (USA) and the United Kingdom.

Much of that news has centered on the needs of the local medical services, the education sector and women’s affairs.

Other countries have offered to help the Solomon Islands when diplomatic representatives have made official courtesy calls on His Excellency the Governor General and on the Prime Minister.

I recall one such visit by the diplomatic representative of the Government of India following an early promise by the Indian Prime Minister to light up 200 homes in each of the small Pacific Islands countries.

I do not know whether the promise is still to be fulfilled in the Solomon Islands, but I hope it will if not done already.

In March 2018, the visiting Israeli envoy, His Excellency Tibor Shalev Schlosser, was warmly greeted by Prime Minister Rick Hou when the envoy told the PM that the Government of Israel had offered to provide assistance to the Solomon Islands in education and with health services.

Also, on that occasion, the envoy reportedly told Prime Minister Hou the Israeli Government was willing to help provide fully funded scholarships to undergo training in Israel with training in the areas of medical doctors, agriculture, health and women’s empowerment.

The envoy went so far to tell Prime Minister Hou that Israel would offer help in sending doctors to the Solomon Islands to assist in medical centres.

I recall, too, a diplomatic representative of the Royal Thai Government also visited Honiara and she said her government could offer advice on the rural development initiatives that His late Majesty, King Bhumibol, had successfully implemented throughout all areas of rural Thailand.

As a follow-up to those diplomatic visits it would be extremely beneficial to be able to illustrate to the international followers of my website how those offers of help have been followed through and the benefits accrued from them.

Yours sincerely

Frank Short

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