PM Sogavare meets US naval officers on pacific partnership mission

PRIME Minister Manasseh Sogavare today has met a 3 member team from the visiting US Navy who are currently on a Pacific Partnership Mission to conduct humanitarian services in Solomon Islands.

Captain James Meyer of the USNS Millinocket told Prime Minister Sogavare that his team is excited to assist the Solomon Islands with general disaster response preparedness advice and capacity building, medical consultancy and treatment assistance and community infrastructure rehabilitation including renovation works to the Vura School building, during their mission here.

The US-led Mission consists of a total of 110 Americans, 7 Australians, 8 New Zealanders and other civilians from Humanitarian Agencies such as the Red Cross.

Thirty eight personnel who are part of the Mission are already in Auki conducting humanitarian services to the community there, and they will join the rest of the Team for various other community works around Honiara.

“We have the necessary resources to provide further assistance under the Pacific Partnership Mission and we are prepared to come back if you requested us,” said Captain Meyer.

Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare said he is very pleased with the Mission and the activities that they are undertaking to help Solomon Islanders.

“Your coming here to assist us shows you care about us and I would be delighted to welcome you back again in the near future. Please come back and continue assisting our communities who are in need of the assistance the Pacific Partnership initiative and the USA Government is offering Pacific Island States from time to time. ” the Prime Minister said.

The Prime Minister also said that Solomon Islands fully appreciate the role that the US Navy played in the Pacific Partnership Mission.

He also informed the US Navy team that climate change is the major challenge facing small pacific islands countries including Solomon Islands and that the Government is keen to see the developed countries play a role in effectively reducing green house gas emissions into the atmosphere, as a direct remedy for reducing the effects of climate change of small island nations including Solomon Islands.

On regional security, the Prime Minister informed the visiting US Navy that Solomon Islands is mindful of maintaining peace and stability in the Pacific Region, and it will always make sure that any decisions made will not create instability in the region so as to undermine peace and economic and social stability in the Region.

“The Pacific is a peaceful region and the onus is on us to maintain the peace and stability we enjoy in our region,” Prime Minister Sogavare said.

The Mission will spend two weeks in Solomon Islands before visiting other countries in the Asia-Pacific Region.

Source: GCU, press release