AUSTRALIA AND SOLOMON ISLANDS RENEW COMMITMENT FOR A PEACEFUL PACIFIC REGION

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PM and Hon. Steven Ciobo of Australia

The Governments of Australia and Solomon Islands have renewed their commitments for a peaceful Pacific region.

This was jointly announced yesterday by the Solomon Islands Prime Minister Hon Manasseh Sogavare and the visiting Australian Minister for International Development and the Pacific Hon Steven Ciobo in Honiara today.

Speaking at a joint Press Conference that concluded bilateral talks between the two leaders, Prime Minister Sogavare said their discussions were fruitful and covered a wide range of issues of common interest to both countries.

These issues range from education, health and various other sectors including Australia’s massive support towards the Regional Assistance Mission to Solomon Islands (RAMSI) to restore law and order following years of civil unrest.

“We have made this commitment that we would like to keep this region peaceful and it is in the interest of all of us to keep this region peaceful,” Hon Sogavare said.

He added that the current peaceful status of the region is the envy of the other parts of the world that continue to experience conflict.“

You see what is happening in the other parts of the world.You see people got killed and that our part of the world is very peaceful and we support the leading role taken by Australia and New Zealand to ensure that this part of the world is peaceful,” Prime Minister Sogavare said.

Minister Ciobo said the Australian Government under the leadership of Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull is committed not only to supporting the Solomon Islands but to the rest of the Pacific region.

He said the fact that his delegation to Solomon Islands today was a bi-partisan team of members both from the Government and the Opposition represents the strong commitment Australia had with the Pacific.

“There are opportunities for us to work together on, we share one region. We are all part of the pacific family and in that respect we also share a common destiny.”

“We can help to affirm each other to work through partnership to build each other’s prosperity through knowledge and opportunities that exist to make sure that we are able to provide a brighter future for the next generation of Solomon Islanders and Australians coming through,” Hon Ciobo said.

Hon Ciobo and his delegation were in Honiara on a one day visit where he has announced 50 million dollars (SB$300 million) education assistance to Solomon Islands for the next four years.

He has also held meetings with other Ministers and senior officials of the Solomon Islands Government.