The European Union and the Solomon Islands Government have successfully concluded their fifth Political Dialogue in Honiara over the weekend.
Minister for Development Planning and Aid Coordination, Connelly Sandakabatu says, the Political Dialogue, is another opportunity to exchange information and to foster mutual understanding that would immensely serve as a conduit for the consolidation and further strengthening of the two parties long forged relations.
In a joint EU-SIG media statement Mr Sandakabatu says, past dialogues had greatly contributed to enhancing existing relationship and collaboration as development cooperation partners and the EU today remains Solomon Islands’ single largest multilateral development cooperation partner.
The dialogue is a requirement under the ACP-EU Partnership Agreement, which makes provision for the parties to “regularly engage in a comprehensive, balanced and deep political dialogue leading to commitments”.
The meeting’s conclusion also coincides with a ceremony marking the 64th Anniversary of the European Union.
The EU delegation is led by Gerard Sabathil, Director for Europe External Action Services for North East Asia and Pacific.
He was accompanied by Mr Martin Dihm, EU Ambassador to Solomon Islands, PNG and Vanuatu, based in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea.
Meanwhile, the statement says, four similar dialogues have been conducted with the last one being held in Honiara, in September 2012.
Under the Cooperation, Solomon Islands have benefited from EU assistance through successive EDF resources allocations under the series of Lome Conventions and now the Cotonou Agreement, and specifically under the 8th, 9th and 10th EDF.
Overall, through the previous EDF resources, the EU has assisted Solomon Islands in various sectors, including; Education, vocational education and training, Agriculture, Forestry, Rural Development, Renewable Energy, Climate Change, Fisheries, Security, Good Governance, Civil Society and Private Sector to mention a few.
The European Union will continue supporting Solomon Islands under the 11th EDF with an overall amount of 40 million Euros indicated to support future interventions in the focal areas identified.
Minister Sandakabatu commended the EU, for the unwavering commitment it has pledged to deliver on its ODA support to ACP members including Solomon Islands.