Solomon Islands PM: Country will never host any military base

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In his national address of late, Solomon Islands Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare made an assurance that Solomon Islands will never be used as a military base or other military institutions of any foreign country now or in the future.

PM Sogavare pointed out that any naval or military bases of foreign countries will destroy, and not develop Solomon Islands.

“It will not be in the interest of Solomon Islands to host any naval or military base of any country, because that will immediately make Solomon Islands a military target for other countries,” the Prime Minister stated.

Sogavare also paid tribute to the Pacific family led by Australia and New Zealand who have helped to restore peace, security and economic wellbeing of the country during the darkest days of the nation.

PM Sogavare added that the same support was sought when the Pacific family were called up again to protect democracy during the November 2021 riots.

“As a country, we can never repay the costs and sacrifices made by these countries to support us,” PM Sogavare stated.

The Prime Minister further revealed that in a letter to Prime Minister Morrison he has assured his counterpart that his government will not do anything to put the Pacific family’s security at risk.

“I also reiterate that Australia remains our partner of choice and we will not do anything to undermine Australia’s national security,” PM Sogavare reaffirmed.

Meanwhile, the Solomon Islands Government’s intention to broaden its security cooperation with willing partners is necessary to sustain its internal peace and stability.

The country has been ruined by recurring internal violence for years and because of the limited capability of the local police force to deal with violent uprisings, the Government under the leadership of Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare believed that broadening security treaties is a considerate approach to ensure the country’s development aspirations are addressed and effectively supported.
Sogavare last week said the decision to expand the country’s security treaty with China stems from the conviction that creating more security partners enables the country to provide avenues to maintain peace and security when needed.

“We are a country that has limited security capability, and it is clear that we will constantly need support, and whilst we continue to try and address those shortfalls, our security treaties will serve as our support to ensure that we are able to maintain peace and protect our citizens,” Sogavare said.

Responding to critics that said the deal with China will lead to Solomon Islands becoming an autocratic state, Sogavare pointed out that such treaties are all part of our security intent to safeguard this country and our national interest.

He said he has no intention of leading an Autocratic Government with our security arrangement just because the Government deals with China as advocated by some people.

“The DCGA never was and never will be an autocratic government. We have a fully functioning and independent Judiciary and Legislature and I am surprised by this continual reference to an autocratic government,” the Prime Minister said.

The Government continues to promote its Foreign Policy of “Friends to all and Enemies to none,” principle, and in this spirit the Government welcomes any country that is willing to support us in our security space.

Diversifying the country’s security space will help to reduce giving responsibility to one particular country to bear the burden of the country’s security needs while broadening security arrangements provide the avenue for the country to seek support from only a single country.

This means the scope of the country’s needs can be best addressed if the government works with various partners to address certain security issues under an agreed framework.

Because of that, it is important to ensure that the government establishes a framework to guide its partnership in delivering the country’s security arrangements since the country’s needs are many and no one country will be able to take full responsibility.

Last week, the Government announced that the Security Treaty between Solomon Islands and the People’s Republic of China was initiated and will be signed soon.

SOURCE: SOLOMON STAR/PACNEWS