Australia’s High Commissioner to Solomon Islands, Dr. Lachlan Strahan made an official call on Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare yesterday.
The two leaders openly deliberated on issues of common interest to the two countries while touching on areas that the two countries will collaborate on for the welfare of Solomon Islanders.
Prime Minister Sogavare has acknowledged Australia as Solomon Islands current single largest development partner that continues to contribute to the country’s economy and development through many government sectors as well as through co-financing of major projects.
Sogavare further conveyed his gratitude to the Government and People of Australia for rescuing Solomon Islands during the ethnic tension period, which cost Australian taxpayers an estimated $21 billion.
In his remarks, Dr. Strahan has expressed admiration for the Solomon Islands Government’s efforts to keep the country covid-19 free and further assured Prime Minister Sogavare that Australia will continue to stand with Solomon Islands regardless of any situation.
Although Australia is financially under pressure to fight covid-19 at this time, Dr, Strahan assured Sogavare that his Government does not reduce its commitment to Solomon Islands by even one dollar.
Dr Strahan further highlighted Australia’s continued commitment to step up and assist Solomon Islands as well as the wider pacific region in the battle against covid-19 and promised that Australia will help Pacific nations gain access to any vaccine that is found.
So far, Australia’s assistance to Solomon Islands since the covid-19 outbreak has reached many fronts including assistance on the Western border, Solomon Water, Solomon Airlines, Infrastructure, Defence, Health and Education.
Canberra is also due to consider funding the proposal for transmission lines from the power plants to the power stations at the Tina hydro project.
In Australia, the Government continues to look after Solomon Islands nationals working under the labour mobility scheme as well as students studying under the Australian scholarship scheme.