Minister Veke says SIG and Australia relationship is ‘always robust’
Minister of Police, National Security and Correctional Services Mr Anthony Veke says the relationship between the governments of Australia and Solomon Islands is ‘always robust.’
Minister Veke made this statement during a farewell dinner for the Royal Solomon Islands Police Force (RSIPF) and Australia Federal Police (AFP) Policing Partnership Program (RAPPP) Commander Paul Osborne in Honiara on Tuesday this week.
Veke said Solomon Islands and Australia have shared history, and it would be wrong not to acknowledge it.
“This country is forever grateful to Australia, and we will always be appreciative of your support, especially in security and policing. It is my hope that this partnership will continue to grow and not to cease.”
The police minister said the partnership that the AFP and RSIPF share and continue to nurture, is a clear testament of that relationship.
“We have a program that is beneficial and outreaching in its span, and I expect that this will be built on in the years to come. It is the government’s hope that the RSIPF will grow into a discipline force with a capacity and capability that can be self-sustaining in the future,” Veke said.
Mr Veke said RSIPF has grown positively with pride, and this was possible because of hard work, commitments and partnership. The RSIPF has a lot of areas required for improvement, and the government is working with all its able partners to address this.
“Therefore, I wish to see it so, and work together to achieve those expected progress.”
Mr Osborne is the leader of both the RAPPP program and Deputy Commissioner under the Solomon International Assistance Force (SIAF) program.
“To tackle two priority areas simultaneously are not easy tasks, and you have proved yourself capable. I understand last year was not an easy time for our security since the November riots, and SIAF has since then been working hard to restore law and order, as well as bring trust to our Police Force,” Veke highlighted.
The minister said a lot is expected of SIAF under this program. I am sad that Commander Osbourne will be departing us at this time, but I trust that the SIAF program will be in good hands.
The farewell dinner program concluded with some presentations of gifts to the outgoing commander.