DEPUTY Prime Minister Manasseh Maelanga has acknowledged Australia as Solomon Islands’ key strategic development partner.
He stated Australia’s support focuses on key priority areas in the country’s nation building, and work in partnership with Solomon Islands to enhance development, sustain peace, security and stability.
Speaking during his remarks to celebrate Australia Day last night, Maelanga said:
“The Regional Assistance Mission to Solomon Islands that was concluded in 2017 was a historical success, bringing the spirit of our Pacific regionalism to fruition in supporting a family member in times of crisis.
“We thank Australia for leading the Mission and for all the assistance associated with the operation ‘Helpem Fren’.”
Maelanga also highlighted the post-RAMSI period in which Solomon Islands continue to benefit from the assistance provided by Australia.
“With the Australian Pacific step-up in the region, we welcome this initiative and we look forward to deepen our engagement at the bilateral level,” he reiterated.
The deputy prime minister also conveyed his appreciation and acknowledgement for Australia’s ongoing support in training the country’s human resources.
“Australian scholarship awards have enabled our students to contribute back to our country with innovative thinking and creativity.
“Likewise, the labour mobility program has empowered our workers, availing them employment and the opportunity to broaden the scope of people-to-people relationship between our two countries.”