Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare will return this afternoon after attending the 2nd Taiwan-Pacific Allies Summit in the Marshall Islands and a brief visit to Taiwan.

Mr Sogavare who is currently transiting in Singapore for Honiara said he was deeply pleased with the outcome of the summit and the Taipei visit. He said the Taiwan-Pacific Islands annual summit was a valuable forum to the development of Solomon Islands.

The summit held last weekend concluded successfully with the signing of a declaration by the Taiwanese President, Chen Shui-bian and the leaders of his six island ally countries including Mr Sogavare.

Taiwan in the declaration reaffirmed its deep commitment to assist its developing island allies to achieve a quality living standard whilst the island allies reiterated their continued unwavering support for Taiwan's bid for admission to the United Nations and other international organizations.

The summit included one-on-one bilateral discussions between President Chan and the leaders of each island ally. Prime Minister Sogavare used the opportunity of the bilateral meeting to discuss Taiwan's current development programmes for Solomon Islands and propose new development projects.

One of the proposed projects was the free basic education programme whereby Solomon Islands students would be provided free education from Grade one to Form Three should the request is approved by the Taiwanese government.

In Taipei the Prime Minister's delegation went on a look- and- learn tour of Taiwan's giant power giant, MOTECH and a thriving tourist resort called the Ocean Leo Resort.

Owners of both MOTECH and the Ocean Leo Resort have indicated their willingness to invest in Solomon Islands upon an official request from the Solomon Islands government.