SOLOMON Islands is in ready mode to cooperate further and work together with the Government of the Republic of Fiji as a close neighbor, members of the MSG and the PI Forum and the UN on issues of common and mutual interests bilaterally, regionally, and multilaterally.
Prime Minister, Manasseh Sogavare, made the assurance to Fiji’s Prime Minister, Sitiveni Rabuka, while congratulating him after his recent election to the post of Prime Minister.
“Congratulations are in order following the recent election to the post of Prime Minister again after over 20 years since you were last PM. Also, congratulations to the People’s Coalition for assuming the role of constituting a new Government following the 2022 National Elections,” Prime Minister Sogavare stated.
On the Solomon Islands descendants living in Fiji, Prime Minister Rabuka acknowledged the deep historical connections that exist between Fiji and Solomon Islands, and in particular the contributions which Melanesians brought in early days to the development of Fiji.
He intimated that Honiara has heard calls of descendants for recognition of issues. To that end Prime Minister Sogavare noted that these are Fiji citizens that Solomon Islanders are equally proud of for their feats in sports and other achievements.
Other issues the two leaders briefly delved on include; call to review the Fiji-Solomon Islands Air Services Agreement (ASA). An ASA was concluded in 2002 and there were discussions between the two countries for a review, but it has not progressed much.
The leaders further discussed the proposed construction of a Solomon Islands Chancery in Suva. Solomon Islands remains committed to constructing the Chancery on the piece of land offered by the Government of Fiji.
Other issues discussed including Fiji- Solomon Islands Maritime boundary, Fiji- Solomon Islands Security Cooperation, Fiji-Solomon Islands Development Cooperation (2010), Work towards concluding MOUs for Fiji-Solomon Islands bilateral cooperation in education and health.
Commitments were also made by the two leaders to strengthen cooperation on various platforms including Sub regional cooperation, Melanesian spearhead group cooperation, Regional Cooperation- Pacific Islands Forum, Pacific Community, Forum Fisheries Agency and Global cooperation as well.
The Fiji Prime Minister assured Prime Minister Sogavare that Fiji will be sending a delegation to attend the Pacific Games in November/December this year.
Solomon Islands also welcome Fiji’s position on USP issues.
-PM’s Press Secretariat