US offers more opportunities for Solomon Islands

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National Security Council Coordinator for the Indo-Pacific Dr Kurt Campbell.
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By EDDIE OSIFELO

UNITED States of America has offered opportunities to help develop Solomon Islands in maritime security, education, climate change and unexploded ordnances.

This came after Kurt Campbell, Deputy Assistant to the President and Coordinator for the Indo-Pacific, National Security Council and his eight-member delegation met with Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare and his Cabinet in a bilateral meeting in Honiara, yesterday.

Speaking to media in a press conference yesterday, Campbell said they had a very positive meeting.

He said they held the first ever strategic dialogue between the two countries.

“This was important because it allowed us to go through concretely the specific issues that are important for both of our countries,” he said.

Furthermore, Campbell said they underscore that they’re extremely close to being able to welcome back the Peace Corps Peace Corps volunteers to the Solomons.

In addition, he said they made clear to Solomon Islands to begin a process to support ship rider agreements with the Solomons if there are interests.

“We’ve been very fortunate to work on that programme throughout the Pacific,” he said.

According to internet sources, shiprider agreements allow maritime law enforcement officers to observe, board, and search vessels suspected of violating laws or regulations within a designated exclusive economic zone (EEZ) or on the high seas.

Apart from that, Campbell said they are seeking specific partnerships for the university with American academic institutions to ensure that Solomon Islands students have the opportunities to advance in forestry and in Marine Studies.

Moreover, Campbell told US President Joe Biden announced a major initiative in which they will start to train the up-and-coming leaders and executive people in the governments and institutions of the Pacific in Washington DC, later this year.

“I think that we were very pleased with the discussions was very practical.

“We have a list to follow up on,” he added.

However, Campbell said there’s sometimes misunderstandings about how processes are undertaken in both of our governments and the best way to deal with those is to sit down directly and figure out how to make progress as we go forward.

“So, I would judge this visit to be very successful.

“We are following up on the commitments that we made earlier and we want to do more as we go forward,” he added.

Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare joined other leaders and senior representatives of Cook Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji, French Polynesia, Nauru, New Caledonia, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Republic of the Marshall Islands, Samoa, Tonga, Tuvalu, Vanuatu, met with the United States at the White House in September 2022.

They made a joint declaration to enhance cooperation, combat climate change, advance economic growth, and strengthen our partnership, a partnership rooted in mutual respect, transparency, and accountability.


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