Solomon Islands
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Sogavare says Domestic Affairs are more important than US Pacific Leaders Summit

Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare has defended his decision to not attend the US Pacific Leaders Summit hosted by the United States President Joe Biden in Washington.

Addressing the media upon his arrival from the United Nations General Assembly in New York, Prime Minister Sogavare said domestic affairs are more important for him as the Prime Minister than the summit.

Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare speaking to the media in Honiara

Among these domestic affairs is Parliament sitting and to attend a Cabinet meeting scheduled for 28 September.

“There are only 10 weeks left before parliament dissolves and we have many bills before parliament.

“These are issues that are more important to me as the Prime Minister of Solomon Islands than attending the summit,” the Prime Minister explained.

He claimed that the similar summit held last year does not bring the expected outcome as promised.

He said it is now time that the host changes how the summit is conducted. Their strategies need to be changed and respect Pacific leaders by giving them more time to discuss matters of concern and interest during such summits.

The US Pacific Islands Leaders Summit was held on 25 September where the US pledges its commitment to strengthen its partnership with Pacific Islands.

Solomon Islands was represented at the summit by the Minister of Foreign Affairs and External Trade Hon Jeremiah Manele and his Permanent Secretary Collin Beck and Solomon Islands Permanent Representative to the United Nations Jane Waetara.

By Fredrick Kusu