Sogavare hits out on US and Australia over concern to release details of new SI-PRC Policing deal
Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare has hit out on the United States and Australia over what he claimed as an ‘unneighbourly’ approach by the two countries to express concern over the new Police Cooperation Implementation Plan (PCIP) signed by the Solomon Islands and the People’s Republic of China (PRC).
According to media reports, the United States and Australia were concerned about the PCIP after it was signed and called on the Solomon Islands and PRC to release its details.
Addressing the media upon arrival from his week long trip to PRC, Prime Minister Sogavare described the approach by the United States and Australia on the PCIP as a narrow cohesive diplomatic approach and unneighbourly.
“United States and Australia has a policy of a free and Indo Pacific that supposed to respect international law of sovereignty and non-interference and the rights of countries to determine its own political path, questioning Solomon Islands policy programs gives a new definition of a free and Indo pacific, the narrow cohesive diplomatic approach of targeting China and Solomon Islands relationship is unneighbourly,” Hon Sogavare said.
He claimed that the two countries are interfering in the internal affairs of Solomon Islands.
“China has not invaded or colonized any other foreign state, Australia and United States should not fear China’s police support to RSIPF, the program compliments Australia and New Zealand police programs respectively, enhancing Solomon Islands police capability and capacity that role is the state’s duty to protect its law-abiding citizens. The approach taken by Solomon Islands is within the country’s National Development Strategy in broadening its security partnership.’’
“I am disappointed that our sovereignty is disrespected, and good faith questioned. In 2022 at the United Nations general assembly, I quoted Nelson Mandela and I quote, one of the mistakes some political analysts make is to think their enemies should be our enemies, our attitude towards any country is determined by the attitude of that country to our struggle. Solomon Islands has no enemies, only friends.”
The Prime Minister explained that it is time that Solomon Islands looks after its security needs and stops relying on external partners.
He said, new solutions are needed for dealing with old security problems, the old programs the country has with its other partners re-enforces each other and the China agreement should not be viewed in a decisive but cohesive manner by the country’s external partners.
He also assured of Solomon Islands neutral position in the geo-politics competition between China and the Western nations.
A government statement earlier explained that the PCIP is to upskill, build and enhance the capability and capacity of the 1500 police officers to look after the country’s 700,000 population.
It further stated that the PCIP between Solomon Islands Ministry of Police, National Security and Correctional Service and the Ministry of Public Security of PRC compliments Australia’s and New Zealand’s Police Programs in Solomon Islands.
By Sharon Nanau