Foreign relations of the Solomon Islands

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This article is part of a series on the
politics and government of
the Solomon Islands

The foreign policy of the Solomon Islands as of 2008 was described by the Solomons government as a "look north" policy, aimed as strengthening diplomatic and economic relations with Asian countries for development purposes.[1]

Diplomatic Representation[edit]

Countries with diplomatic missions in Solomon Islands are the Australia, Japan, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, South Korea and the United Kingdom. The U.S. ambassador resident in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea is also accredited to Solomon Islands. Canada, France, Germany, South Korea, Sweden and Malaysia have Honorary Consuls.

Solomon Islands has diplomatic missions in Canberra, Papua New Guinea, Taipei, at the United Nations in New York, where the ambassador there is also accredited as its ambassador to the United States of America, UNESCO in Paris and high commissioner to Canada and at the European Commission in Brussels where the representative is also accredited as High Commissioner to the UK.

Bilateral relations[edit]

Argentina[edit]

Both countries established diplomatic relations on 29 July 2016.[2][3][4]

Australia[edit]

Relations with Australia were, until recently, strained, with prime minister Manasseh Sogavare, accusing Australia of "heavy-handed" interference in the Solomon Islands' domestic affairs, subsequently expelling Australia's high commissioner Patrick Cole. In a nationally televised address, Sogavare claimed that the Australian-led security forces in the Solomons had not dealt properly with the country's underlying problems.[5]

"We are concerned that Canberra's policies are aimed at excluding and containing the peoples of the region, instead of working collectively to address fundamental problems of social instability that can only be solved through dialogue, rather than the use of development aid, and political force as leverage, to dictate Australia's involvement"

Sogavare also claimed that Australia's involvement in the region could be "driving this country down the path of another conflict that could be more serious" than the April 2006 riots that broke out after an election won by the former deputy prime minister Snyder Rini, when thousands of anti-government protesters burned down buildings in Solomon Islands' capital Honiara's Chinese district, alleging that either the People's Republic of China or the Republic of China had paid lawmakers to vote for Rini.[6]

Sogavare's successor, prime minister Derek Sikua, almost immediately set out to mend relations with Australia upon assuming office in December 2007.[7]

Azerbaijan[edit]

In February 2011, the United Nations Permanent Mission of the Republic of mutual understanding, cooperation, and to strengthen the friendly relations between the Republic of and the Solomon Islands signed a joint communiqué on the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two. Communiqué on behalf of the government as well as the Permanent Representative of the United Nations, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary Aqşin Mehtiev, on behalf of the Government of Solomon Islands Solomon Islands permanent representative of the United Nations, Collin D. Signed back.

Cuba[edit]

In the late 2000s, Solomon Islands began to strengthen their relations with Cuba.

In April 2007, the Solomon Star reported that Solomon Islands' high commissioner to the United Nations was soon to be sworn in as ambassador to Cuba.[8] In September 2007, it was announced that 40 Cuban doctors would be sent to the Solomon Islands.[9] The Solomons’ Minister of Foreign Affairs Patterson Oti said that Solomon Islander doctors would "learn from their Cuban colleagues in specialised areas".[10] In addition to providing doctors, Cuba provided scholarships for 50 Solomon Islanders to study medicine in Cuba for free.[11]

In September 2008, Solomon Islands' foreign minister William Haomae attended the first Cuba-Pacific Islands ministerial meeting in Havana, aimed at "strengthening cooperation", notably in coping with the impact of climate change.[12]

In July 2014, Solomon Islands prime minister Gordon Darcy Lilo opened the Solomon Islands embassy in Havana, thus becoming the first Pacific Island country to have an embassy and resident ambassador in Cuba.[13]

Cyprus[edit]

  • Both countries established diplomatic relations on 5 May 2010.[14]
  • Cyprus is represented in the Solomon Islands via parallel accreditation of its embassy in Canberra, Australia.[15]
  • Both countries are full members of Commonwealth of Nations.

Fiji[edit]

In August 2008, it was announced that Solomon Islands intended to open a High Commission in Suva,[16] and in December the government of Fiji announced that it had "formally endorsed the establishment of a Resident Diplomatic Mission in Suva by the Government of the Solomon Islands".[17] Fiji's High Commission to Papua New Guinea is accredited to Solomon Islands.

Georgia[edit]

Both countries established diplomatic relations in March 2011.[18][19]

Greece[edit]

  • Both countries established diplomatic relations in 1987.[20]
  • Greece is represented in the Solomon Islands via parallel accreditation of its embassy in Canberra, Australia.[20]

Guyana[edit]

India[edit]

Diplomatic relations between India and the Solomon Islands were established in May 1987. The Solomon Islands opened its Honorary Consulate in New Delhi in 2003. The High Commission of India in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea is concurrently accredited to the Solomon Islands.[22] The Solomon Islands is a member of the Pacific Islands Forum, of which India is an official dialogue partner. Bilateral relations received a boost following the initiation of the Forum for India–Pacific Islands Cooperation (FIPIC) by the Narendra Modi government in 2014.[23][24] India announced that it would provide a grant-in-aid of US$ 100,000 annually to each of the 14 Pacific Island countries, including the Solomon Islands, at the Post Forum Dialogue partner meeting in 2006.[25] The amount was increased to US$125,000 annually from 2009.[26] At the first FIPIC Summit on 19 November 2014, Prime Minister Modi announced numerous steps that India would take to improve relations with Pacific Island countries, including the Marshall Islands, such as easing visa policies, increase in grant-in-aid to Pacific Island Countries to $200,000 each annually, and several measures to boost bilateral trade and aid in the development of the Pacific Island countries.[27]

Solomon Islander Foreign Minister Laurie H. Chan visited New Delhi on 17-20 January 2005, and held bilateral talks with the Foreign Minister, Human Resource Development Minister, the Minister of State for Information Technology, and the the Minister of State for Commerce & Industry. Minister of Foreign Affairs and External Trade Peter Shanel Agovaka visited New Delhi in February 2011 to participate in the ministerial meeting on "Harnessing the Positive Contribution of South-South Cooperation for Development of Least Developed Countries (LDCs)".[22] Deputy Prime Minister Douglas Este led a Solomon Islander delegation to attend the 2nd FIPIC Summit held in Jaipur on 21 August 2015.[28] Solomon Islands Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare attended a function to mark India's Republic Day on 26 January 2017. In his address to the gathering, Sogavare praised the 30 year bilateral relationship between the two countries.[29]

Bilateral trade between India and the Solomon Islands totaled US$ 7.36 million in 2013-14. India exported $2.06 million worth of goods to the Solomon Islands, and imported $5.30 million.[22] At the 2nd FIPIC Summit, Prime Minister Modi announced that a FIPIC Trade Office would be opened at the FICCI premises in New Delhi. The trade office, named the FIPIC Business Accelerator, was officially opened on 7 September 2015. The Confederation of Indian Industries (CII) has also established a dedicated department at its headquarters in New Delhi focusing on boosting trade with Pacific Island Countries.[30] Indian firm Asian Paints operates a manufacturing in the Solomon Islands through its subsidiary, Asian Paints (SI) Ltd.[31][32]

In April 2007, India donated US$100,000 towards disaster relief and rehabilitation of tsunami victims in the Solomon Islands April 2007. India also donated $50,000 towards disaster relief after floods in the Solomon Islands in March 2014. Citizens of the Soloman Islands are eligible for scholarships under the Indian Technical and Economic Cooperation Programme.[22]

As of July 2015, around 20 Indian citizens reside in the Solomon Islands. The community is engaged in the hospitality sector, missionary work, United Nations organizations and trade. The Association of Indian Origin People is an organization based in Honiara that represents Solomon Islanders of Indian descent.[22]

Japan[edit]

Further information: Foreign relations of Japan

Diplomatic relations between Japan and Solomon Islands were established on 7 July 1978, the date the Solomon Islands became independent. Japan maintains an embassy at Honiara.[33]

Malaysia[edit]

Malaysia has an honorary consul in Solomon Islands while Malaysia high commission in Port Moresby also accredited to the country,[34] and Solomon Islands has a high commission in Kuala Lumpur.[35][36][37]

Maldives[edit]

Montenegro[edit]

Both countries established diplomatic relations on 23 December 2010.[39]

Pakistan[edit]

The Solomon Islands and Pakistan established foreign relations in February 2016, when high commissioner designate Naela Chohan, Pakistan's ambassador resident in Canberra, arrived in Honiara to sign an accord with minister for foreign affairs Milner Tozaka for the formal establishment of diplomatic ties.[40] A Joint Communique issued by the two senior officials remarked upon numerous areas of cooperation, including education, and policing, as well as bilateral trade ties[41]

Papua New Guinea[edit]

Relations with Papua New Guinea, which had become strained because of an influx of refugees from the Bougainville rebellion and attacks on the northern islands of the Solomon Islands by elements pursuing Bougainvillean rebels, have been repaired. A peace accord on Bougainville confirmed in 1998 has removed the armed threat, but refugee return has been slow.[citation needed]

Relations between the current governments of prime minister Derek Sikua (Solomon Islands) and prime minister Michael Somare (Papua New Guinea) are, at present, cordial.[42]

Romania[edit]

Both countries established diplomatic relations on 1 February 2011.[43]

Saudi Arabia[edit]

Both countries established diplomatic relations in July 2014.[44]

Serbia[edit]

Both countries have established diplomatic relations on 13 September 2012.[45]

South Korea[edit]

Establishment of diplomatic relations between the Republic of (South Korea) and the Solomon Islands is 15 September 1978.[46]

Switzerland[edit]

Solomon Islands and Switzerland established formal diplomatic relations on 20 December 2007, when representatives of both nations signed a joint communiqué in Canberra.[47] Beraki Jino, High Commissioner of Solomon Islands to Australia, and Christian Muhlethaler, Ambassador of Switzerland to Australia, signed the agreement on behalf of their respective governments.[47]

Turkey[edit]

  • Both countries established diplomatic relations on 8 March 1979.[48]
  • Turkey is represented in the Solomon Islands via parallel accreditation of its embassy in Canberra.[48]

United Arab Emirates[edit]

Both countries established diplomatic relations on 29 April 2010.[49]

United Kingdom[edit]

Bilateral relations with the UK remain strong. The UK's bilateral aid programme in the Solomon Islands ended in early 2004 when the UK's regional aid programme came to a close. However, UK funding through the EU, the largest multilateral donor to Solomon Islands, will continue. The UK contributes almost 15% of the EU development budget in the Solomon Islands. The Foreign and Commonwealth Office assistance to Solomon Islands is focussed on security sector reform, good governance, sustainable development and poverty alleviation. Among the activities supported in the last two years are: education on HIV/AIDS, rural clinics, collective farming and empowerment of women. Sir Nathaniel Waena, the Governor-General of Solomon Islands, visited the UK in 2006 to celebrate the Queen's 80th Birthday.

United States[edit]

Taiwan[edit]

Solomon Islands has had diplomatic relations with the Republic of China since 1983 and both maintain resident diplomatic missions in their respective capitals. In April 2017, Solomon Islands Deputy Prime Minister Manasseh Maelanga visited Taiwan and met with President Tsai Ing-wen at the Presidential Office Building in Taipei. Both of them discussed exchanges and future cooperation between the two sides.[50]

Venezuela[edit]

In October 2008, Solomons prime minister Derek Sikua moved to establish economic relations with Caracas, hoping to benefit from comparatively cheap Venezuelan oil. In a rare display of bipartisanship, Solomons Opposition leader Manasseh Sogavare praised his political rival for this move, stating that -in the context of the 2008 global financial crisis- it would bring down the price of oil for Solomon Islanders, and boost the economy if the Solomons imported crude Venezuelan oil, refined it and then exported it to neighbouring countries.[51]

Main multilateral involvement[edit]

Solomon Islands is a member of the United Nations, UNESCO, Commonwealth, South Pacific Commission, Pacific Islands Forum, International Monetary Fund, and the European Economic Community/African, Caribbean, Pacific Group (EEC/ACP)/(Lome Convention).

International organisation participation[edit]

ACP, AsDB, ESCAP, FAO, Commonwealth of Nations, G-77, IBRD, ICAO, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, Intelsat (nonsignatory user), IOC, ITU, PIF, Sparteca, SPC, United Nations, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UPU, WFTU, WHO, WMO, WTrO

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Rethink for Solomons diplomatic missions", ABC Radio Australia, 9 September 2008
  2. ^ [1]
  3. ^ [2]
  4. ^ [3]
  5. ^ ABC News Online: Howard stands by Solomons ambassador
  6. ^ BBC NEWS: Solomons PM criticises Australia
  7. ^ "Strained Relations on the Mend", Nina Tuhaika, Solomon Times, 23 January 2008
  8. ^ solomonstarnews.com
  9. ^ http://www.radioaustralia.net.au/news/stories/s2030359.htm
  10. ^ solomonstarnews.com
  11. ^ "Cuban-trained doctors sorely needed in Solomons". Radio New Zealand International. 28 February 2008. Retrieved 30 September 2011. 
  12. ^ "Cuba-Pacific ministerial meeting underway in Havana"[permanent dead link], ABC Radio Australia, 17 September 2008
  13. ^ http://siempreconcuba.wordpress.com/2014/07/24/islas-salomon-abrira-embajada-en-cuba/
  14. ^ [4]
  15. ^ [5]
  16. ^ "Solomons considers High Commission in Suva", Radio Australia, 14 August 2008
  17. ^ "Cabinet approves Establishment of a Resident Mission of the Solomon Islands in Suva", Fiji government website, 2 December 2008
  18. ^ [6]
  19. ^ [7]
  20. ^ a b [8]
  21. ^ [9]
  22. ^ a b c d e "India - Solomon Islands Relations" (PDF). Ministry of External Affairs (India). July 2015. Retrieved 21 April 2017. 
  23. ^ Pratibha, Jyoti (17 November 2014). "Samoa PM Coming Here". Fiji Sun. Suva. Retrieved 17 April 2017. 
  24. ^ "Second Forum for India-Pacific Islands Cooperation (FIPIC) Summit held in Jaipur". Jagran Josh. 26 January 2015. Retrieved 16 April 2017. 
  25. ^ Crocombe, R. G. (2007). Asia in the Pacific Islands: Replacing the West. The University of the South Pacific. p. 275. ISBN 9789820203884. Retrieved 17 April 2017. 
  26. ^ "India-Tuvalu Relations" (PDF). Ministry of External Affairs. 7 July 2015. Retrieved 18 April 2017. 
  27. ^ "India – Tonga Relations" (PDF). Ministry of External Affairs. January 2016. Retrieved 15 April 2017. 
  28. ^ "Annual Report 2015-16" (PDF). Ministry of External Affairs. New Delhi. 2016. Retrieved 16 April 2017. 
  29. ^ Star/Pasifik, Solomon (13 February 2017). "Solomon Islands lauds ties with India - Pasifik". Pasifik. Retrieved 21 April 2017. 
  30. ^ "Page 1 of 3 INDIA - SAMOA BILATERAL RELATIONS" (PDF). Ministry of External Affairs. December 2016. Retrieved 15 April 2017. 
  31. ^ "Asian Paints consolidates investments in overseas units". The Hindu. Retrieved 21 April 2017. 
  32. ^ "Asian Paints consolidates investments in overseas units - The Economic Times". The Economic Times. Retrieved 21 April 2017. 
  33. ^ of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) of Japan
  34. ^ "New Malaysian High Commissioner to Solomon Islands". Solomon Times Online. 4 March 2010. Retrieved 23 January 2014. 
  35. ^ "PM Lilo Opens Malaysia Office". Solomon Times Online. 15 October 2013. Retrieved 23 January 2014. 
  36. ^ George Herming (15 March 2013). "SOLOMON ISLANDS ESTABLISHES TWO NEW DIPLOMATIC MISSIONS OVERSEAS". Government of Solomon Islands. Office of the Prime Minister and Cabinet. Retrieved 23 January 2014. 
  37. ^ "SOLOMON ISLANDS HIGH COMMISSIONER TO MALAYSIA COMMISSIONED". Consulate Generals of Solomon Islands to Canada. 7 October 2013. Retrieved 23 January 2014. 
  38. ^ [10]
  39. ^ [11]
  40. ^ Government seals diplomatic relations with Pakistan Solomon Star
  41. ^ Pakistan and Solomon Islands establish relations Ary News
  42. ^ "Sikua Government Values Diplomatic Relations", Joanna Sireheti, Solomon Times, 23 January 2008
  43. ^ [12]
  44. ^ [13]
  45. ^ [14]
  46. ^ http://www.mofa.go.kr/ENG/countries/asiapacific/countries/20071018/1_24380.jsp?menu=m_30_10
  47. ^ a b "Solomon Islands Establish Diplomatic Relations with Switzerland". Solomon Times. 20 December 2007. Retrieved 2007-12-20. 
  48. ^ a b [15]
  49. ^ [16]
  50. ^ Yeh, Sophia; Hsu, Elizabeth (24 April 2017). "Tsai hopes to visit Solomon Islands to promote friendship". Focus Taiwan. Retrieved 25 April 2017. 
  51. ^ "L’opposition fait l’éloge du gouvernement des Salomon", ABC Radio Australia, 14 October 2008

External links[edit]