FOREIGN Affairs minister Clay Forau Soalaoi joined his Pacific Islands Colleagues in Istanbul from June 7-8 to discuss way and means of enhancing cooperation between Turkey and the Pacific’s Small Islands Developing States (SIDS).
The talks were held between Pacific Islands foreign ministers and their Turkish counterpart.
Solomon Islands has a growing cooperation with Turkey, a country that provided direct assistance to Solomon Islands recent April Floods.
Early in the year, Turkey has also assisted one of our Provincial Hospitals with transportation.
Solomon Island also signed a broader cooperative MOU with Turkey in November last year.
At the Istanbul meeting, the Turkish Foreign Minister offered an office space for Pacific SIDS to establish itself in Acurra.
Turkey has also committed to establish a diplomatic mission in the Pacific.
Solomon Islands is currently covered from the Turkish Embassy in Canberra. Pacific SIDS Ministers’ also welcomed Turkey’s embassy in Canberra.
They also welcomed Turkey’s offer to train disaster teams of interested countries in the Pacific in Turkey.
Turkey and Pacific foreign ministers further agreed to form a working group to address issues of common concerns in preparation for the G20 meeting to be hosted in Turkey next year.
Turkey has also offered similar outreach on disaster risk management as it will be hosting the first ever humanitarian summit in 2016.
Turkey will follow up bilateral discussions with Solomon Islands at the Pacific Islands development forum schedule for mid June in Suva, Fiji.
The Istanbul meeting also saw Turkey formalized diplomatic relations with Niue and signed bilateral cooperative MOU’s with Vanuatu and Marshall Islands.
The Pacific SIDS and Turkey Ministers also issued a Bosphorus declaration at the conclusion of the meeting on June 8.
Minister Forau and Permanent Secretary Beraki Jino are expected back in the country on Friday June 13.