Prime Minister Gordon Darcy Lilo has defended the Solomon Islands-Fiji relationship in Parliament, saying the cooperation has greatly helped the country.
Prime Minister Lilo made the statement in Parliament this week after a colleague MP questioned if there were any benefits from the government’s spending on the 2013 visit of Fiji’s Prime Minister to Solomon Islands.
The Prime Minister responded – the cooperation has helped the Government save money in scholarships of Solomon Islands students studying in the various universities in Fiji.
“The cooperation that we have with Fiji has helped us. We have saved almost about 13-14 million dollars of school fees for our students who are studying at various universities in Fiji, apart from USP. Fiji has given us a fee that is equivalent to nationals, not overseas fee charges. Our friendship with Fiji is not one of just mere and useless friendship, no, it’s a Melanesian country and we are benefiting from it that way.”