By EDDIE OSIFELO
SOLOMON Islands police will start receive training from the United States of America’s Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) this year.
The FBI is a top security and intelligence service in the US that also deals with counter-terrorism, counterintelligence and investigate federal crimes.
This was announced after the signing of the joint declaration by the 14 Pacific Islands countries including Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare and US President, Joe Biden after a two days summit in Washington last week.
According to Reuters, US agreed to provide US$2.8 million to step up FBI training with Pacific islands, including in 2022 with the Solomon Islands.
The announcement came after Solomon Islands signed the controversial security agreement with Peoples Republic of China in April this year, sparking backlash from Australia and USA.
The Sino/SI agreement resulted in Chinese police dispatched to Solomon Islands to train the Royal Solomon Islands Police Force and employees of Chinese businesses in the country.
Prior to the signing in Washington, a leaked memo from the Solomon Islands Embassy in New York states the government agreed not to sign the joint declaration with the other Pacific Island countries.
However, the twist by Sogavare to sign the agreement has shocked most people in the country, with some joking that Solomon Islands do not has the leverage and power to influence international politics.
Furthermore, US President Biden promised Pacific Island countries to address climate change which is the most existential threat in the region.
Solomon Islands will also host a US Embassy in Honiara as part of boosting her presence after the signing of diplomatic relationship with PRC in 2019.
However, Reuters reported that Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Mao Ning, responding to a question on Biden’s remarks, said on Friday that China had an “open attitude” towards countries wanting to strengthen cooperation with Pacific Island countries.
However, Mao emphasized that these countries should not be used as pawns in competition between great powers.
“We hope the U.S. side can sincerely and whole-heartedly provide support to the Pacific Island countries in responding to climate change and realizing vigorous development, rather than using cooperation as cover to engage in geopolitical chess games,” Mao said during a regular media briefing in Beijing.
Reuters reported that the White House said the United States would invest more than $810 million in expanded programs to aid the islands, on top of over $1.5 billion provided in the past decade.
It includes a previously announced 10-year $600 million aid request to Congress to build climate resilience and maritime security for the island states.
Sogavare’s delegation is expected back home this week after attending the United Nation 77th Session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York and the meeting in Washington.
He is expected to dialogue with Australia’s Prime Minister, Anthony Albanese during his stopover in Australia before returning home. Island Sun is still to get a comment from the Police Commissioner over the announcement