PAPUA New Guinea (PNG) High Commissioner to the Solomon Islands Dr John Balavu says that their bilateral relation with Solomon Islands remains robust as ever since the establishment of formal diplomatic ties on 17th August 1978.
He made this sentiment in his speech in Honiara to mark the PNG 45th Independence Anniversary.
He said that the relationship between the two countries has been strengthened over the years through both formal and informal engagements.
“This includes common cultural heritage, traditions, lingua franca, inter-marriage and provision of scholarships and financial assistance by the government of PNG to Solomon Islands which was done under the true spirit of Melanesian brotherhood,” he expressed.
He further expressed that both countries share common maritime border thus they face common challenges in terms of immigration and illegal border crossings, bio-security issues, customs and general law and order problems.
He urged the government of Solomon Islands and PNG to continue to work together in a structured and properly coordinated manner to address issues of common interest and concern.
Meanwhile, Dr Balavu said there are a lot of things that both countries are yet to achieve but was cut short due to the global pandemic COVID-19.
“Due to this pandemic we have not been able to finalise the MOUs on Development Assistance, Territory Education Assistance, Police Training Exchange Programs and Agriculture Assistance and Cooperation.
“Cooperation on Quarantine and Customs, Fisheries attachments and an overall framework on Technical Cooperation Agreement are also part of the MOUs that needs to finalise,” he added.
Dr Balavu on the same note thanked the people and the government of Solomon Islands for the friendship and care towards the people of PNG living and working in Honiara.
By ANDREW FANASIA