Contrary to international media reports in past weeks on the Solomon Islands-China Security Cooperation, a top US Official says the US respects the sovereign decision of the Solomon Islands Government to establish a Security Cooperation with the People’s Republic of China.
US National Security Council Coordinator for the Indo –Pacific, Kurt Campbell met Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare Friday last week during which the two leaders discussed issues of common interest to both countries and reaffirmed their friendship and committed to strengthen their relations and work together on issues of mutual interest.
On the China-Solomon Islands Security Cooperation, Mr Campbell said the US respects the Solomon Islands decision saying the US has no say in the pact.
“We have no say on the SI-China agreement. We respect Solomon Islands sovereign decision. There is no misunderstanding,” Campbell said.
Campbell reassures Prime Minister Sogavare that the United States is back and will do more to support Solomon Islands.
“We will do better and committed to do more in Solomon Islands,” Campbell said Friday last week.
Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare acknowledged with gratitude the United States revitalized relations with Solomon Islands and welcome the US decision to re-establish its Embassy in Honiara and acknowledge the recent signing of Millennium Corporation Challenge (MCC) Threshold Programme.
The US pledged to provide more assistance in addressing unexploded ordnance, supplying COVID 19 vaccines, provide medical support, reopen the Peace Corps program and look at expanding the SCALE Programme to other provinces.
The Prime Minister informed that visiting US delegation that the Solomon Islands – China Security Cooperation is not about China establishing a military base in Solomon Islands but is about supporting the state to address its internal hard and soft security threats. It is not directed at any external security interest.
The Solomon Islands – China Security Cooperation compliments other bilateral and regional security arrangement Solomon Islands is a Party to.