Gov’t sitting on US diplomatic note

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THE Ministry of Foreign Affairs and External Trade (MFAET) is reportedly sitting on a diplomatic note the US Government sent at the end of March for the Government to facilitate the entry of its diplomatic and aid officials.

 That’s according to information provided to Island Sun.

By the end of this month, the diplomatic note would be sleeping with MFAET for around two months.

“What we are seeing basically is that MFAET has been sitting on the diplomatic note since March, and the DCGA COVID committee also has been delaying any COVID application by USAID diplomatic officials as well,” sources said.

“This is shameful to say the least that such treatment should be accorded to our long-time diplomatic friend,” sources added.

When contacted, Permanent Secretary Collin Beck confirmed his ministry’s receiving of the diplomatic note, but said the matter has been referred to the relevant body.

“There are established requirements and processes that need to put in place,” Beck told Island Sun yesterday.

He said bilaterally, they have been talking to the US on the matters raised in the note.

He added the US is aware they are working on general bilateral arrangement that will structure the relationship between the two states. 

On the question of timing, Beck said they are working as quickly as possible.

He said consultation is going on and will be finalised soon.

The US Government last year announced a US$25 million (SBD$200 million) aid assistance to Malaita Province for the next five years.

Implementation is expected to start this year.

Already, locals employed under the project are doing awareness work around the province.