Thursday, 10 April 2008 11:47 AM

International Relations "Very Important": Prime Minister Sikua

The country's relations with the international community including the neighbouring Pacific Islands are very important in its development efforts.

Speaking in Parliament yesterday, Dr. Sikua said his Government is very clear on how it will approach its dealing with neighbours and countries that Solomon Islands has diplomatic relations with.

He said the approach is through dialogue and consultation underpinned by mutual understanding and respect for each others' sovereignty.

Dr. Sikua said with the recent experience of the ethnic tension and its effect, Solomon Islands will continue to need the development partners' support and cooperation to its rebuilding efforts.

He said the Government is aware of its responsibility to set the priorities and direction in which the country is heading.

Dr. Sikua said that he had informed his Australia, New Zealand and Papua New Guinea counter-parts of his Government's six priorities during his visits to those countries early this year.

"Perceptions and statements by the distinguished leader of Opposition that this Government is serving the interest of Australia or that this budget is driven by Australian interests is simply not true. This budget as I have said earlier is a credible budget based on the six priorities of the Government."