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Australian Defence Minister Dutton warns China will expand its presence in Pacific after Solomon Islands pact

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Australian Defence Minister Peter Dutton is warning China will not waste any time expanding its presence in the South Pacific, after signing its controversial security pact with Solomon Islands. The deal between the governments in Beijing and Honiara has sent shock waves across the Pacific, with fears the move will allow China to base military assets in the region. Prime Minister...

Australia must ‘change the way it talks’ to Pacific Islands

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Melanesian News Network Editor Dorothy Wickham says Australia must start “changing the way it talks” to the Pacific Islands. It comes as Chinese ships and aircraft will arrive in the Solomon Islands within four weeks, following the signing of a security pact between the two nations. “Australia must change its narrative in the way it addresses, not only the Solomon Islands,...

FSM President Panuelo announces proposed Compact of Free Association package

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Federated States of Micronesia President, David Panuelo, has concluded in depth discussions with U.S Special Presidential envoy for Compact negotiations, Joseph Yun and Jake Sullivan, the U.S National Security advisor. During the talks, President Panuelo informed the two U.S high level officials that the FSM is requesting an economic assistance package to be submitted by FSM’s Compact Chief Negotiator Leo...

No caretaker government in PNG: Barker

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There is no provision in law or in the Constitution for a caretaker government to be formed after Parliament is dissolved for a general election, Institute of National Affairs executive director Paul Barker says. “The ruling Government can continue to hold Parliament sessions and cabinet meetings until the return of writs (on 29 July for general election),” he said. Barker was...

PNG PM Marape tables report on UBS loan inquiry in Parliament

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The Union Bank of Switzerland (UBS) Australia overcharged the PNG Government by AUD$175 million (about K464 million) which must be reimbursed to the State, it has been revealed. Prime Minister James Marape revealed this in Parliament Wednesday when tabling the Commission of Inquiry report on the UBS K3 billion (US$1.3 billion) loan in 2014. Marape said the inquiry found that the...

Solomon Islands-China security deal needs scrutiny – NZ Foreign Minister Mahuta

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New Zealand Foreign Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta says the new Solomon Islands security arrangement with China is unwelcome and unnecessary and should be open to regional scrutiny. New Zealand and Australia have reacted with frustration to the news Solomon Islands politicians have signed a security agreement with China. The possibility such a deal could be struck had prompted concerns - shared...

Tonga PM says security pact between China and Solomons will be raised at June Forum meeting

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Tongan Prime Minister Siaosi Sovaleni says they are closely monitoring the situation as Solomon Islands sign security pact with China. The security pact has raised fears that China could establish a military presence in the region. Prime Minister Sovaleni said Tonga was monitoring the situation and he would raise it in the next forum leaders meeting. “Our position is basically to table...

Fiji PM receives courtesy call from U.S Indo-Pacific Coordinator Kurt Campbell

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Fiji and the United States have pledged commitment to advance collaborations on issues of importance to Fiji and the region, particularly in areas of climate change, defence and security, and economic recovery in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic. This was articulated Wednesday during a courtesy call to Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama, from the deputy Assistant to the President of...

Human rights concerns in West Papua: Pacific Elders’ Voice statement

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The Pacific Elders’ Voice is deeply concerned about reports of human rights abuse in West Papua. According to reports from reliable sources, the human rights situation in the last few years has significantly deteriorated. These reports suggest an increased number of extra judicial executions, enforced disappearances and the internal displacement of Melanesian Papuans. The Pacific Elders recall the Pacific Island Forum...

Top U.S officials met Fijian PM to discuss regional security

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White House delegation led by Indo-Pacific Coordinator Kurt Campbell on Wednesday, met Fiji’s Prime minister, Frank Bainimarama in Suva to discuss regional security. The meeting came as the United States, Japan, New Zealand and Australia shared concerns about Solomom Islands security pact with China “and its serious risks to a free and open Indo-Pacific”, the White House said earlier. “On the...

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PM Christopher Luxon wants thousands more seasonal workers from Pacific countries in NZ

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The leaders of Papua New Guinea and New Zealand have discussed a refreshed partnership that could boost the number of places for short-term RSE...

Samoa Anti-corruption body soon

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An entity to look into corrupt practices in the Samoa government will be set up soon as the first National Anti-corruption Policy and Strategy...

New Centre for Agriculture Technology Transfer opens in Fiji, leading in a new era...

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In a significant step forward for agricultural development, the new Centre for Agriculture Technology Transfer (CATT), also known as the Smart Farm, officially opened...