Australian Minister for International Development and the Pacific, Pat Conroy held constructive discussions with Solomon Islands’ Ministers during his first day in Honiara.

In meetings with Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare and Minister of Foreign Affairs and External Trade Jeremiah Manele, Minister Conroy welcomed the opportunity to discuss the Solomon Islands-Australia economic and security partnership, which is delivering jobs and building prosperity for Solomon Islands and its people.

Minister Conroy also met with Minister of Police, National Security and Correctional Services Anthony Veke to discuss the Australia and Solomon Islands security partnership. They spoke about ongoing cooperation, including through the Solomons’ International Assistance Force.

Conroy said on Tuesday Sogavare had reassured him that Australia remains the Solomon Island’s “primary security partner”.

“Every single Pacific leader agreed that security should be driven by the Pacific, that if any country in the Pacific has a gap in their security, they should ask other members of the Pacific family to fill it first,” Conroy told reporters.

Australia has a long history of supporting Solomon Islands’ development.

In a meeting with Minister of National Planning and Development Coordination Rexon Ramofafia, Minister Conroy had the opportunity to learn more about the Solomon Islands Government’s development priorities.

Minister Conroy delivered a keynote address at Solomon Islands National University, speaking about the historic ties between Australia and Solomon Islands and reflecting on our longstanding partnership.

Minister Conroy was honoured to discuss the Solomon Islands-Australia partnership with the students of SINU, and enjoyed his interaction with the community on these issues.