By EDDIE OSIFELO
SOLOMON Islands has maintained nine Missions and one Consulate General Office abroad following the covid-19 pandemic.
These include the Embassies:
- Havana, Cuba in America;
- Jakarta, Indonesia;
- Beijing, China
- Brussels, Belgium
High Commission offices:
- Canberra, Australia;
- Suva, Fiji;
- Wellington, New Zealand;
- Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea;
- Permanent Mission in New York, United States,
- Consulate office in Brisbane, Australia.
However, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and External Trade has closed down the Solomon Islands Embassy in London, United Kingdom this year and Permanent Mission in Geneva, Switzerland in 2020.
Minister Manele said: “As you know operationalizing and running of these Mission are very costly exercise for the government.”
He said therefore the Government took a tough decision to close our High Commission in London.
This followed the closure of Geneva Mission in 2020.
“The Ministry will continue to assess and continue its diplomatic posture to ensure we effectively manage and support our oversea missions in order to gain maximum benefits from these investments,” he said.
Furthermore, to consolidate the closure of London Mission, Manele said the Ministry has appointed John Geoffrey Freeman as its Honorary Consul for the Consular District of London, United Kingdom.
“Freeman’s appointment will complement the work of the Brussels mission in facilitating and promoting economic, trade and cultural interests for Solomon Islands in the UK including providing consular services to Solomon Islands citizens visiting, studying and residing in the United Kingdom,” he said.
Manele said the Ministry is also working on finalizing the appointment of the Honorary consul for the Federal Republic of Germany hopefully by the end of this year or early next year.
In addition, Manele said this year, his Ministry has commissioned and facilitated the appointment of four Heads of Missions.
These our Ambassador to China, High Commissioner to New Zealand, Papua New Guinea and Fiji
He said there is still one vacant Head of Mission post that is Permanent Representative to Solomon Islands Mission to New York, which is also accredited as Ambassador to US and High Commissioner to Canada.
“We have already identified a candidate and hopefully a candidate will take up posting early next year,” he added.