Business & Economy

Solomon Islands says won’t host military bases of foreign countries

Sydney, Australia, Oct 6 (EFE).- Solomon Islands will not allow foreign military presence on its territory, prime minister Manasseh Sogavare said on Thursday.

A few months ago, the Solomon Islands signed a controversial security deal with China which opens the door to sending Chinese security forces to the nation at the request of the strategic Pacific region.

“Solomon Islands will not do anything that will undermine our national security, and jeopardize the security of any or all forum countries,” Sogavare said during a meeting with his Australian counterpart, Anthony Albanese, in Canberra.

“I reiterate again that Solomon Islands will never be used for foreign military installations or institutions of foreign countries because this will not be in the interest of Solomon Islands and its people,” he added, according to Australian ABC News.

Australia, as well as the United States and New Zealand, criticized the security pact between Honiara and Beijing saying he feared it could threaten the stability and increase China’s influence in the region.

In a statement, Albanese and Sogavare stressed their commitment to “security in our region,” as Australia promised to step up efforts in the fight against climate change.

Australia had offered to finance elections the Solomon Islands was scheduled to hold in November 2023 before Sogavare decided to delay them until 2024 claiming the country has not enough resources to organize two major events simultaneously. Honiara is scheduled to host the 2023 Pacific Games between 19 November and 2 December 2023.

Albanese-Sogavare meeting comes after the US signed a partnership declaration with 12 Pacific Island nations last week.EFE


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