SI refuses to take sides in geopolitical arena: PM Manele

BY NED GAGAHE

Prime Minister Jeremiah Manele says geopolitics extends beyond the Pacific, it’s a global reality and the competition for influence presents the country with challenges and opportunities.

Responding to questions when asked about the country’s stance on geopolitics during a media conference this week, Prime Minister Manele said Solomon Islands, as a small nation, prioritises development and recognises that no single development partner can address all its needs. Hence the country refuses to be forced into taking sides, preferring to collaborate with all parties.

The Prime Minister said as a least developed country set to graduate in 2027, its focus remains on economic development.

He said geopolitical competition is undeniable, spanning regions like Africa, Europe, and the United States.

He adds that Solomon Islands will remains committed to its inclusive approach, aiming to cooperate with all nations without bias.

“Geopolitics is not only in the Pacific, it’s everywhere globally. Let’s look at this this way. Geopolitics or the competition for influence in the region is both a challenge and opportunity. So, its important that any government including Solomon Islands we work to capitalize on the opportunities but we must manage the challenges and in terms of conduct of foreign policy that’s the responsibility of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and External Trade.

“For Solomon Islands as a small country our interest is development and one partner alone cannot meet all our development needs and challenges. So, therefore, it makes sense for us to work with all partners. Therefore, our foreign policy of friends to all and enemy to none.

“We will not be forced to take sides, but will work with everyone, because development interest and domestic security needs of Solomon Islands are broader and wider. One partner alone as I have said cannot meet all the needs that we have both on the development front and on the security front internally. So, our interest is internally in terms of security.

“We do acknowledge the big countries they have their interests, strategic, military but for us as a least developed country who is preparing for graduation in 2027 development interest is number one hence the focus of the government is in terms of the economy going forward. So, Geopolitics the competition for influence in the region is real.

“It is real, some say we should not recognize that. We have to be complacent, there is geopolitical competition not only in our region, but in Africa, Europe, United States, it is a phenomenal that for us a small country, that is why we maintain friends to all enemy to none approach because we would like to work with everyone. We will not be forced to take sides; I hope that’s clear.” Prime Minister Manele said.

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