BY MAVIS N PODOKOLO
THE Australian Government has agreed to arm Solomon Islands’ patrol boats.
Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare revealed this yesterday in his address to the commissioning of the new Guardian Patrol Boat, the RSIP Vessel 06 Taro.
“The Solomon Islands Government is fully committed to continue with the partnership arrangement with the Australian Government through the Australian Defence Cooperation Program and will continue to do so in the many years to come.
“I am also glad to note that the Australian Government has agreed to arm our patrol boats,” he said.
Sogavare said he is pleased with the support that the Australian government has provided for Solomon Islands, especially in relation to the country’s security.
“On behalf of the government and my people of Solomon Islands, we acknowledge and thank the Australian Government for their continuing support and assistance to our RSIPF Maritime Division through our Defence Cooperation Program. Indeed, Australia recognized our maritime security needs and the importance of enhancing our maritime capabilities, for which we are,” he said.