UNITED Kingdom (UK) Foreign Secretary, James Cleverly, has arrived in Honiara last night as part of his four-day visit to the Pacific Islands.
He is expected to announce UK’s financial support and the deployment of UK expertise to the region for regional priorities such as climate change.
This includes £4.5 million of new funding to connect communities in Papua New Guinea and across the Pacific to clean energy sources – providing an alternative to common but expensive and polluting generators.
This is the first visit by any UK Foreign Secretary to the country and it offers an opportunity for Solomon Islands to further explore and deepen the Solomon Islands-UK cooperation and to seek further bilateral assistance from the UK for its priority areas of development.
Solomon Islands will also be seeking further bilateral cooperation and development assistance from the UK, following Brexit.
Cleverly will pay a courtesy call on Prime Minister, Manasseh Sogavare, at the Parliament precinct.
He will thereafter hold a bilateral meeting with the Minister of Foreign Affairs and External Trade, Jeremiah Manele, to discuss new and ongoing partnerships that both countries have involved in.
Amongst ongoing UK programmes and support implemented in Solomon Islands include, Partnership between the Solomon Islands Broadcasting Corporation and several members of the Media Association in Solomon Islands (MASI) with BBC Media Action, a non-government organisation.
There is also the Westminster Foundation for Democracy (WFD) implementing a programme to support and enhance accountable democratic governance in Solomon Islands.
BY CHARLES KADAMANA