Deputy Prime Minister Hon. Manasseh Maelanga, MP has acknowledged Australia as Solomon Islands key strategic development partner.
He stated Australia’s support focuses on key priority areas in the country’s nation building, and work in partnership with Solomon Islands to enhance development, sustain peace, security and stability.
Speaking during a ceremony to mark the Australia Day yesterday Hon Maelanga said the Regional Assistance Mission to Solomon Islands that was concluded in 2017 was a historical success, bringing the spirit of our Pacific regionalism to fruition in supporting a family member in times of crisis.
“We thank Australia for leading the Mission and for all the assistance associated with the operation ‘Helpem Fren’.”
Hon. Maelanga also highlighted the post-RAMSI period in which Solomon Islands continue to benefit from the assistance provided by Australia.
“With the Australian Pacific step-up in the region, we welcome this initiative and we look forward to deepen our engagement at the bilateral level,” he reiterated.
The Deputy Prime Minister also conveyed his appreciation and acknowledgement for Australia’s ongoing support in training the country’s human resources.
“Australian Scholarships awards has enabled our students to contribute back to our country with innovative thinking and creativity. Likewise, the labour mobility program has empowered our workers, availing them employment and the opportunity to broaden the scope of people-to-people relationship between our two countries.”
The Deputy Prime Minister also expressed his pride of the service that local Solomon Islanders who had joined the labour mobility program have contributed to the economies of our two countries.
Hon. Maelanga also acknowledged Australia’s continous support towards the country’s maritime capability and Police Force in reference to the handing over of the new guardian class patrol boat 05 Gizo in November last year.
“The Royal Solomon Islands Police Force (RSIPF) has been rated as one of the top in the region, bringing back hope, trust and confidence for our people in our security environment,” he said.
Solomon Islands and Australia have a long-standing relationship that continues to grow from strength to strength.