PM may not attend UN - Solomon Star News

PM may not attend UN

18 September 2019

PRIME Minister Manasseh Sogavare may unlikely attend the 74th United Nation General Assembly (UNGA) in New York due to the current diplomatic and political situation.

He was due to travel with 11-man delegation this weekend.

But Government insiders told the Solomon Star last night Sogavare may send his Foreign Affairs minister Jeremiah Manele instead.

“Yes this might be the case and for whatever reasons Sogavare might have to send his Foreign Affairs Minister to attend the 74th UNGA,” one insider said.

The Solomon Star understands pro Taiwan members within the Government are not happy with the decision to switch ties.

“Some were coerced or forced to support the switch,” insiders stated.

Caucus put the issue to a vote on Monday afternoon and 27 voted in favour of a switch while 6 ministers abstained.

The decision was later endorsed by the Cabinet.

It’s understood that this might be an issue for Sogavare to deal with internally to make sure stability within his government.

Taiwan Ambassador and his team left the country without any proper formalities from Solomon Islands Government.

The voiceless citizens living in Honiara described Taiwan exit as a very sad one and a shameful act by the Sogavare and his ministers.

Meanwhile the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee tweeted:

“I am disappointed by reports that the Solomon Islands has severed its ties with Taiwan.

“This will be an important topic of our hearing with US Asia Pacific.”

 Another senior US Senator, Sen. Marco Rubio, has also taken to Twitter to express disappointment at the decision by the government to cut ties with Taiwan.

"It’s shameful that the Solomon Islands is bending to Beijing’s pressure to sever ties with Taiwan. 

“Congress should pass the TAIPEI Act and send a strong message that the U.S. will not stay silent as the Chinese government aggressively moves to isolate Taiwan," Rubio tweeted.