Wednesday, 23 January 2008 11:59 AM

Sikua Government Values Diplomatic Relations

Prime Minister, Dr. Derek Sikua, and his government highly values the Solomon Islands' diplomatic relations with neighbor countries, Australia, New Zealand and Papua New Guinea.

The Acting Prime Minister, Fred Fono, said that it has been decided that Dr. Sikua paid visit to their heads of government to forge better understanding with them.

Mr. Fono said the visits are because of the value the government attaches to its diplomatic relations with the three Forum member countries.

Prime Minister Sikua during his visit to Port Morseby, he used the opportunity to reconcile with his counterpart, Sir Michael Somare, for Solomon Islands' absence from last year's Forum Summit in Tonga.

Mr. Fono said that the two Melanesian leaders discussed PNG's boosting commercial investment in Solomon Islands, and also counting assistance in providing higher and university training for its students.

Mr. Fono made the verification in response to statements made by the Opposition Leader, Manasseh Sogavare.

He said that Mr. Sogavare had described the visit as ill conceived and hasty, Dr. Sikua's apology to his PNG counterpart as unwarranted.

In the statement made by Mr. Sogavare, he also claimed that there is nothing wrong with the diplomatic relations between countries and the Solomon Islands.

In response to the claim, Mr. Fono said that Mr. Sogavare's claim is a cover up for the damage done to the country during his time as the Prime Minister.

###TIME###