Tuesday, 22 April 2008 3:13 PM

Foreign Policy Should be Driven by Rational Dialogue: Wale

The new MP for Aoke/Langa Langa Mathew Wale has warned against allowing Solomon Islands foreign relations and policy to be driven neither by paranoia nor under a siege mentality based on mere allegations and conspiracy theories.

Wale's said this while speaking at the end of the recent Parliament meeting. His comments were consistent with comments which he had made last year in relation to former Prime Minister Sogavare's stand-off with Australia.

"If we accept that it is right that our foreign policy must protect and advance our national interest, then consistent with the principle of reciprocity we must accept that our partners and friends may have the same motivation. There is no need to fear this or become paranoid about it," Wale said.

The new Aoke/Langa Langa MP said that we can manage our foreign relations within this reality of reciprocity and mutual dependence and build regional and like minded alliances as platforms and tools within this context.

He said that political leaders should not succumb to an inferiority complex and in doing so refuse to dialogue with partners and neighbors. "We need to have the confidence to take our place amongst the family of nations and advance our interest through rational dialogue," said Mr. Wale.

Wale added that if our positions on various issues impacting on our foreign relations are rational, we should be confident in advancing it in dialogue with other nations.

He warned that small island states, with open and vulnerable economies, need to build critical mass and economies of scale arguing that Solomon Islands cannot afford to antagonize its neighbors nor actively seek isolation in the region for no apparent sensible reason.