The relationship between the Australian Government and Solomon Islands is ‘always robust’.
Anthony Veke, minister of police, said this during a farewell dinner for the Royal Solomon Island Police Force (RSIPF) and Australia Federal Police (AFP) Policing Partnership Programme (RAPPP) Commander Paul Osborne in Honiara on Tuesday this week.
“We have too much shared history, that it would be wrong not to acknowledge it. This country is forever grateful to Australia, and we will always be appreciative of your support especially in security and policing. It is my hope that this partnership will continue to grow and not cease.
“The partnership that the AFP and RSIPF share and continuity to nurture, is a clear testament of that relationship.
“We have a programme that is beneficial and outreaching in its span, and I expect that this will be built on in the years to come. It is the government’s hope that the RSIPF will grow into a discipline force with a capacity and capability that can be self-sustaining in the future.
“In the future you can all look back and see that RSIPF has grown positively with pride, and know that this was all possible because of your hard work, commitments and partnership. The RSIPF has a lot of areas required for improvement, and we are in a working progress with all our able partners. Therefore, I wish upon us to see it so, and work together to achieve those expected progress.
“Thank you so much for your time as leader of both the RAPPP programme and Deputy Commissioner under the Solomon International Assistance Force (SIAF) programme. These are not easy tasks, to tackle two priority areas simultaneously, and you have again proven yourself capable. I understand last year was not an easy time for our security since the November riots, and SIAF have since then been working hard to restore law and order, as well as, bring trust to our Police Force.
“I understand a lot is expected of SIAF under this program and I hope that as we continue we will address them collectively. I am sad that Commander Osbourne will be departing us at this time, but I trust that the SIAF programme will be in good hands.”
The farewell dinner programme concluded with some presentations of gifts to the outgoing commander.