The Solomon Islands has today (January 17th, 2023) conveyed its readiness to work closely with the Fiji Government in building climate resilience, protecting the environment and oceans and promoting sustainable development in the Pacific region.
This was emphasised at an introductory call to the Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs, Honourable Sitiveni Rabuka from the Solomon Islands High Commissioner to the Republic of Fiji, His Excellency Mr. Joseph Ma’ahanua.
Prime Minister Rabuka extended his gratitude to High Commissioner Ma’ahanua for the opportunity to meet and discuss areas of mutual cooperation.
He said Fiji and Solomon Islands share friendly relations, at the heart of which, is the close ties between the people and there is a large population of Solomon Island descendants who now call Fiji home.
Prime Minister Rabuka is confident that cooperation among the two nations would raise new levels in the key areas of economic and social development.
He said Fiji will work with Solomon Islands in addressing common challenges and the fulfilment of our collective vision of the 2050 Strategy for the Blue Pacific Continent.
Prime Minister Rabuka extended his best wishes to Solomon Islands Prime Minister Honourable Manasseh Sogavare and he looks forward to further collaboration with the Pacific Island Leaders in advancing the interests of the Pacific family.
In his capacity as the new Chair of the Pacific Islands Forum (PIF), Prime Minister Rabuka took the opportunity to provide an overview of the Forum’s immediate priorities to nurture regional solidarity.
In response, High Commissioner Ma’ahanua expressed his appreciation to Prime Minister Rabuka for his strong leadership to reunite the Pacific region.
He said Solomon Islands supports Prime Minister Rabuka in his role as the Forum chair to guide the work on progressing the Blue Pacific Strategy 2050 and the reforms to the Pacific regional architecture.
High Commissioner Ma’ahanua said Solomon Islands commends the bold actions taken by Prime Minister Rabuka to bring back Kiribati into the Pacific Forum family and also praised Prime Minister Rabuka for his commitment to swiftly address the issues concerning the University of the South Pacific (USP).
High Commissioner Ma’ahanua conveyed Solomon Island’s readiness to work with Fiji towards rejuvenating the important role the Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG) cooperation play for development of trade, investment and people-to-people connectivity with the MSG. Fiji and Solomon Islands are members of the MSG subregional group.
He said Solomon Islands will host the 2023 Pacific Games in Honiara and looks forward to welcoming the Fiji Delegation attending the event this year.
High Commissioner Ma’ahanua also expressed Solomon Islands interest to construct the Solomon Islands Chancery in Suva, as a way forward to further enhance collaborations with Fiji.