AUKUS has nothing to do with us: MFAET


THE signing of the trilateral security pact between Australia, United Kingdom and the United States (AUKUS) in September 2021 has nothing to do with Solomon Islands.

This is according to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAET).

Under the AUKUS pact, among other things, US and UK will assist Australia in acquiring nuclear powered submarines.

AUKUS was established after Solomon Islands’ diplomatic switch from Taiwan to China in 2019.

MFAET permanent secretary Collin Beck told media last week that “this particular matter has nothing to do with Solomon Islands, more to do with interests of AUKUS members”.

“If we look at Indo Pacific strategy, targeting one particular country.

“This is before we established relationship with China,” he said.

“So it is nothing to do with Solomon Islands, but more to do with their policy and direction to contain China.

“That is a geo political issue,” he said.

Beck said Solomon Islands views the region and world as inter-connected and linked.

“But with current conflict, especially with Ukraine, we go back to cold war situation, a divided world.

“How do we see development issue? We see as middle ground, not take side with any side,” he added.

Beck said if anything goes bad, no one is the winner.

“Everyone will lose. Those losers will be the front line of climate change.

“Geo political agenda took us from our developmental agenda,” he said.

Apart from that, Beck said the signing of the security agreement with China last year is basically for the country’s domestic interest and not external.

He said Solomon Islands needs security relating to water security, food security, climate change and relocation.

Beck said relocation can also lead to domestic war between people who relocate to someone’s land if they start encroaching into another tribal land.

As such, he said the real threat is domestically and not externally.

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