Wednesday, 16 January 2008 2:13 PM

Trip to Mend Broken Relationships: Sikua

Solomon Islands Prime Minister, Dr. Derek Sikua, will leave for his first official engagement this weekend.

The Prime Minister will be traveling to Papua New Guinea, Australia and New Zealand to mend, what he describes as, "broken relationships, particularly with Australia".

In a true sign of friendship and respect to its close regional allies, Dr. Sikua has promised to apologize to Papua New Guinea Prime Minister, Sir Michael Somare.
"It was a big let down when we did not attend the Forum leaders meeting in Tonga," said Dr Sikua. "PNG is also very supportive of the rebuilding of Solomon Islands through RAMSI."

Dr. Sikua also pointed out the political fiasco caused by the Moti issue, which had caused problems to Papua New Guinea.

"His first few days in office will define the kind of leadership style Dr. Sikua will have," stated one political commentator. "This upcoming trip is a very good sign, a sign of respect for our neighbors."

It has been reported in The Australian that the Solomons Islands High Commissioner, Victor Ngele, has already begun the 'healing process' by meeting parliamentary secretary, Duncan Kerr, who is responsible for Pacific Island affairs, in Canberra on Wednesday last week.

"My meeting with Mr. Kerr is on an informal basis ahead of a scheduled meeting between the prime ministers of both countries next week," Mr. Ngele said in a statement in The Australian.

"I believe we're entering a new era which will bring greater cooperation and an enhanced sense of goodwill between our two countries," he said.

Dr. Sikua will be accompanied by his wife, the Foreign Affairs Minister, William Haomae, and officials from both the Prime Minister's Office and Foreign Affairs.