AUSTRALIA has reaffirmed its commitment to strengthen its bilateral relationship with Solomon Islands.
In a meeting with Prime Minister Manaseh Sogavare on Wednesday, Parliamentary Secretary for Foreign Affairs and Parliamentary Secretary for Trade and Investment, Steven Ciobo reaffirms Australia’s stand.
Mr Ciobo said, the meeting he had with PM Sogavare certainly reflects how Australia values its relationship with Solomon Islands.
“We have viewed ourselves as neighbours and more than neighbours as friends,” Ciobo said.
He said, the relationship and future of Solomon Islands and Australia has been intertwined.
Adding, what impacts on Australia also impacts Solomon Islands and vice versa.
“In that sense we want to make sure that we want to match our intentions and good deeds on the ground in Solomon Islands…,” Mr Ciobo said.
He stressed that with all the issues he and PM Sogavare had discussed, he is confident to strengthen both countries’ relationship going forward despite the tough times the two countries have gone through.
Meanwhile Sogavare thanked Australia for their cordial relationship that have started way back before independence.
Sogavare assured Australia that this is a new Sogavare and his DCC government is happy to move forward and continue to strengthen this relationship learning from the past.
He said, the government and people of Solomon islands is pleased to have Mr Ciobo and to discuss issues of national interest that he hoped will impact positively not only to the country’s economy but to the people of this country in various sectors.
By DANIEL NAMOSUAIA