Minister of Foreign Affairs and External Trade, Hon. Jeremiah Manele held a fruitful bilateral discussion with the Deputy Prime Minister of Papua New Guinea, Hon. John Rosso on Wednesday 30th August in Honiara.
Minister Manele welcomes the Deputy Prime Minister and delegation to Solomon Islands and commend the strong bilateral relations with Papua New Guinea (PNG) as a Melanesian brother and Neighbour. The relations between both countries is based on shared mutual interests on development and economic cooperation, security, cultural exchanges and people to people connection. Minister Manele also acknowledges the ongoing bilateral cooperation between both countries in areas such as education, biosecurity, customs, trade, immigration and police cooperation.
On development cooperation, Minister Manele assured the Deputy Prime Minister of Solomon Islands continued support in strengthening SI-PNG cooperation on areas of mutual benefit and priorities, particularly in encouraging socio-economic development that would bring tangible benefits for both countries.
On the 2023 Pacific Games, Minister Manele acknowledges the support provided by the PNG government for the construction of the new Solomon Islands Football Federation (SIFF) Headquarter. Manele said with the handing over of the 2023 Pacific Games Stadium project earlier this month, all sporting facilities will be ready in time to host the Pacific Games in November. The Government and people of Solomon Islands look forward to host all the participating countries and territories and also welcome the PNG contingent to the 2023 Pacific Games from 19 November until 2 December 2023.
On Education, Minister Manele acknowledged the PNG government’s offer and commitment to provide a number of scholarships for Solomon Islanders to study at various tertiary institutions in PNG. This is under the MoU on Higher Education in which Solomon Islands is ready to sign. Minister Manele stated that Solomon Islands values the opportunity to build skills and capacity for Solomon Islanders and in turn contribute to the country’s human resource development.
On trade, Solomon Islands values the importance of trade and investment opportunities and supports the establishment of a SI-PNG Business Council to enhance trade and investment opportunities between the two countries.
On security, Minister Manele expresses his sincere gratitude to the Deputy Prime Minister and the Minister for Internal Security for the positive response by the PNG government for the deployment of the Royal Papua New Guinea Constabulary during the November 2021 riots. So far, there were three policing deployments. Additional request to assist and support RSIPF’s security arrangements for the 2023 Pacific Games and the 2024 National General Elections have been conveyed to the PNG government. With the signing of the policing cooperation with PNG earlier this year, Solomon Islands look forward to work with PNG Police in the security sector.
On border, Minister Manele assured the Deputy Prime Minister of Solomon Islands commitment to work together with PNG authorities under existing border frameworks to assist the free movement of traditional inhabitants of both countries along the border, in particular, to facilitate cultural exchange, people to people connection and trade.
The meeting successfully concluded with both Foreign Minister Manele and the Deputy Prime Minister of PNG, Hon. Rosso reaffirm the strong bond, bilateral relations and cooperation between both countries and pledge to work together on areas of mutual benefit.
MFAET PRESS RELEASE