PRIME Minister Manasseh Sogavare has held talks with a high-level delegation from the New Zealand Government, led by the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Winston Peters (MP) at the Office of the Prime Minister and Cabinet yesterday afternoon.
Bilateral issues such as the New Zealand’s Foreign Policy –the “Pacific Reset”, the New Zealand-Solomon Islands Development Cooperation were part of the discussions held between the two leaders.
In welcoming the Deputy Prime Minister and his delegation to the Solomon Islands, Mr Sogavare also acknowledged that such high-level visits are important as it strengthens the dialogues and partnership between the two countries.
During the meeting, Mr Sogavare reaffirms Solomon Islands strong bilateral relations it has with New Zealand over the years and acknowledged that New Zealand being a traditional development partner of Solomon Islands, a Pacific neighbour and friend, he welcome the Pacific Reset policy and approach taken by New Zealand.
Mr Sogavare further reiterated that Solomon Islands and New Zealand enjoy a long standing and strong bilateral relation and that both countries are peoples from the Pacific and are neighbours.
He also took the opportunity to acknowledge other members of the delegation from the business/private sector and cultural groups who are part of other separate meetings and engagements with the relevant sector, cultural groups during their 3-days visit to the country.
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Winston Peters conveyed New Zealand’s commitment to a safe and secure Solomon Islands.
He reiterated New Zealand’s support to the country’s economic development through assistance in sectors like aviation, tourism, fisheries, agriculture, labour mobility and others.
He expressed New Zealand’s excitement that the Munda International Airport is finally operational.
Mr Peters also emphasised the importance of Solomon Islands ratifying the PACER Plus agreement to enable Solomon Islands unlock other benefits from Australia and New Zealand that will grow the agricultural sector and facilitate more exports of root and fruit crops to both markets.
Mr Sogavare thanked the New Zealand delegation and expressed his desire to see more engagements between the private sector and business and trade missions of New Zealand and Solomon Islands.
The visiting delegation are in the country from the 4th to 6th June 2019.