Manele to explain security treaty to regional leaders

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Minister of Foreign Affairs, Jerry Manele
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By EDDIE OSIFELO

MINISTER of Foreign Affairs and External Trade, Jeremiah Manele is expected to travel to Suva, Fiji tomorrow to meet up with various organisation regarding the SI-PRC security treaty.

This is to allow Manele to explain the pros and cons of the security agreement after some of them have raised concerns on the regional implication of SI-PRC security treaty.

Permanent Secretary Collin Beck confirmed to the media in a press conference yesterday.

Beck said Solomon Islands is in consultation with number of countries by phone and visits by bigger countries who could afford to come on their own planes to have a dialogue with the government.

He said there are others who do not come but they engaged with them through phone and virtual means.

“But we see it important to be there in persons to talk to them in terms of assuring everyone on the spirit of what we have done and addressing our domestic security issues in terms of having a cooperation with China.

“We can learn from other countries who have similar and different cooperation with China as well,” he said.

Further to that, Beck said there will no one single meeting.

He said there will be meetings with our sub regional groups, Pacific Small Islands Developing countries and wider Pacific Islands Forum members.

Beck said there will be some meetings in Australia on route or scheduled when he returns through Brisbane.

Manele told Parliament on Wednesday that in the last few weeks, he talked with a number of our traditional development partners and a few Forum Island countries to clarify and allay their concerns pertaining to the SI-PRC Treaty.

“I also had a zoom meeting with the Secretary General of the Pacific Islands Forum and outlined to him what the treaty is about and not about.

“All the partners or countries I have talked to, respect the sovereign decision we have taken while expressing some concerns.

“Sir, as you know disagreements within the Forum Family or any relationships are not bad,” he said.

Manele said it shows the maturity of our relationship and the respect we have for each other.

Parliament has adjourned to Monday 28th July 2022.


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