Friday, 5 March 2010 11:14 AM

Diplomats Sworn In

The Government has gone ahead with the proposed cross-posting of the country's diplomats in Australia and Taiwan - despite alleged dismay within the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

A brief ceremony was held yesterday afternoon at the Government House for the diplomatic swapping of former Ambassador to Taiwan Beraki Jino and former High Commissioner to Australia, Victor Ngele.

Mr Jino now High Commissioner to Australia and Mr Ngele, new Ambassador to Taiwan - together took their oaths of allegiance in Foreign Service before Governor General Sir Frank Kabui.

Other dignitaries invited to the ceremony included Minister for Foreign Affairs, William Haomae, Taiwanese Ambassador George Chen and the Acting Australian High Commissioner, Alison Duncan.

The ceremony was also witnessed by staff of the Foreign Affairs Ministry.

Mr Jino was Solomon Islands Ambassador to Taiwan for six years, while Mr Ngele was High Commissioner to Australia for a term of three years.
Governor General Sir Frank Kabui meanwhile warned the two diplomats to keep personal interests outside of their foreign service duties.

Sir Frank says the government and people of Solomon Islands expect only "sound advice and deliberations on political, economical, social and cultural matters during their tenure and this should not be compromised by personal views or interests."

The Governor General's statement follows recent media reports suggesting that the government was forced to swap Jino and Ngele due to a strained relationship between Ngele and Trevor Garland of the St Vincent Hospital in Australia.

Mr Garland is also the Solomon Islands Honorary Consul in Sydney. Mr Garland however later denied such tensions.