Solomon Islands Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare warmly welcomed US National Security Council Coordinator for the Indo –Pacific, Kurt Campbell to Solomon Islands following a friendly and productive meeting on 22 Friday April, 2022.
The two countries reaffirmed their friendship and committed to strengthen their relations and work together on all issues of mutual concerns.
Visiting delegation leader Kurt Campbell reassures Prime Minister Sogavare that the United States is back “We will do better,” and committed to do more in Solomon Islands.
Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare acknowledged with gratitude United States revitalized relations with Solomon Islands and welcome once again US decision to re-establish its Embassy in the country and acknowledge the recent signing of MCC Threshold Programme.
The senior White House Official added, US will provide more assistance in addressing unexploded ordnance, supplying COVID 19 vaccines, provide medical support, reopen the Peace Corps program and look at expanding the SCALE Programme to other provinces.
US is committed to ensuring the clearing of the WW2 EOD and would look into the issue of oil spill in the Iron Bottom Sound.
On the China-Solomon Islands Security Cooperation, “We have no say on the SI-China agreement. We respect Solomon Islands sovereign decision. There is no misunderstanding,” stated the White House Official.
US’s core concern is China establishing a military base in Solomon Islands, this will have regional security implications.
The Prime Minister responded, contrary to misinformation promoted by anti-government critics, the Solomon Islands – China Security Cooperation is not about China establishing a military base in Solomon Islands but is about supporting the state to address its internal hard and soft security threats. It is not directed at any external security interest.
The Solomon Islands – China Security Cooperation compliments other bilateral and regional security arrangement Solomon Islands is a Party to.
Prime Minister Sogavare was also acknowledged for his outstanding leadership through the many challenges facing the young nation.
The two states registered appreciation for the talks and committed their officials.to meet in September to advance identified areas of cooperation. —PMO