PM, OPMC Staff farewell Outgoing SPM

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The Waleanisias posing with the Prime Minister after receiving their gifts from him. Photo courtesy of Ms Lanita Waleanisia.

Prime Minister Hon Manasseh Sogavare and the staff of the Office of the Prime Minister and Cabinet bade farewell to the outgoing Secretary to the Prime Minister, Joseph Waleanisia as prepares to depart for Taipei for his new posting as Solomon Islands Ambassador to Taiwan.

Ambassador Waleanisia has held the position of Secretary to the Prime Minister since 2015 up until last week when he signed his new employment contract with the Solomon Islands Government for the ambassadorial post.

Addressing Ambassador Waleanisia at a farewell function hosted for him by OPMC at the IBS Hotel last Thursday, 25th August, Prime Minister Sogavare said, “ You leave behind a big shoe that will not be easy to fill.’

“We hope your replacement, whom we are working to find, will display a high degree of competence as you did during your tenure in office.”

The Prime Minister told Ambassador Waleanisia that with his new role, he represents the Solomon Islands Government and people and must always be conscious of this fact.

He said Solomon Islands has a unique relationship with Taiwan and the manner in which Solomon Islands deals with Taiwan is based on the fundamental principles of democracy and human rights, adding that this is consistent with the way it deals with the issue of West Papua.

Prime Minister Sogavare said Solomon Islands respects the relationship that non- Taiwan ally countries have with the Peoples’ Republic of China because they have the sovereign right to decide their diplomatic relations and the decision by the allies of Taiwan to establish diplomatic relations with Taiwan should likewise be respected and further more Taiwan’s choice to decide what is good for itself should be respected.

The Prime Minister added that as long as Taiwan continues to uphold the principles of democracy and human rights which Solomon Islands cherishingly upholds, Solomon Islands has a duty to continue to support Taiwan’s quest for recognition by the United Nations.