Sogavare explains his non-attendance at the PIF leaders meeting with US President


PRIME Minister Manasseh Sogavare has clarified why he is unable to attend the Pacific Leaders’ Summit between the United States and Pacific Island nations.

He indicated that he had pressing national priorities to address in the Solomon Islands and, therefore Minister of the Foreign Affairs is in Washington at that meeting with the US President,

“We are still represented at that meeting”, Sogavare said

During a press conference held upon his arrival at the International Airport yesterday afternoon, Prime Minister Sogavare cited the time-sensitive nature of the situation, noting that Parliament had only 10 weeks left to deliberate on crucial legislative bills. As the leader of the Solomon Islands, he emphasized the need to prioritize domestic matters over international meetings.

“I have previously attended such meetings last year, and unfortunately, we did not witness any tangible outcomes. I am not inclined to participate merely to be lectured,” stated Sogavare firmly.

He urged the international community to reevaluate their approach in dealing with Pacific leaders and suggested that a change in strategy was necessary.

Sogavare further highlighted a disparity in how these meetings were structured, expressing dissatisfaction with the limited three-minute speaking slots provided to leaders.

He noted that the bulk of the meetings was often dominated by lengthy lectures from them, He referenced last year’s promise of $800 billion dollars, which had yet to materialize, as an example of the lack of follow-through on commitments.

“It’s essential to acknowledge the distinct treatment accorded to leaders by various countries. When I engage with nations like Australia, Korea, and China, they allocate an hour for bilateral discussions and treat us with the respect deserving of leaders,” stated Sogavare.

He emphasized that Pacific leaders should not be subjected to condescending lectures akin to a classroom setting.

Recently, the United States expressed disappointment over Prime Minister Sogavare’s decision to abstain from the special PIF Summit.


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