Prime Minister Manasseh Damukana Sogavare has said he is a changed person, a new Prime Minister ready to improve the country’s foreign relations with Australia.
He made the comment when asked during SIBC’s talk-back show over the weekend, about his current relationship with Australia.
Mr Sogavare said whilst he admits the relationship between Australia and Solomon Islands in 2006 – 2007 was at its lowest, he had stood his grounds when the then Australian Prime Minister John Howard stood his, saying they were both right standing their grounds.
“Because I was Prime Minister of this country in 2006 and 2007 when the relationship between Australia and Solomon Islands is probably at its low. This is because of the tough strong stands both of us have taken. John Howard took that stand at that time when he was the Prime Minister of his country and I also took a very tough and principled stand, both of us are correct in the stands that we took.”
The Prime Minister however adds there are better ways for the two countries to communicate their differences, saying the country’s relationship with Australia now is stronger than ever, adding Solomon Islands needs Australia.
“I can assure you and assure the country that this Prime Minister is different and our relationship with Australia stronger and stronger than ever. I just talked with the Prime Minister of Australia Tony Abbott the other day assuring him that this relationship will be strong and cordial and am willing to visit his country at some point in time so that we could cement that relationship, so you can be assured our relationship with Australia is at its best. This country needs Australia.”