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Solomon Islands Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare (Photo Credit: Reuters)
Solomon Islands Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare (Photo Credit: Reuters)

Solomon Islands accuses Australia for criticizing security deal with China

ANI | Updated: Apr 29, 2022 15:59 IST


Honiara [Soloman Islands], April 29 (ANI): Soloman Islands Prime Minister on Friday accused the Australian government of hypocrisy over his country's security deal with China, saying that Canberra should be more transparent with other Pacific nations.
Last week, Soloman Islands and China signed the framework agreement on security cooperation. Upon this, Australiam PM said that the construction of a Chinese military base in the Solomon Islands will be the 'red line' for Canberra and Washington.
"One would expect that as a member of the Pacific family, Solomon Islands and members of the Pacific should have been consulted to ensure this AUKUS treaty is transparent since it will affect the Pacific family by allowing nuclear submarines in Pacific waters," Soloman Islands PM Manasseh Sogavare told parliament, as quoted by Russia's Sputnik News Agency which cited Australian broadcaster ABC News.

Sogavare further stated that he had learned about the Australia's AUKUS security pact with the United Kingdom and the United States from media.
"Oh, but Mr Speaker, I realise that Australia is a sovereign country which can enter into any treaty it wants to, transparently or not. Which is exactly what they did with AUKUS," Sogavare said.
He also criticized the "gaps" in bilateral 2017 Honiara-Canberra security treaty. He said that when Australia sent its troops to their nation at its request to appease the riots last year, they refused to protect the Chinese infrastructure and investments. He also said that Australian government's refusal to admit the fact was "disappointing", as reported by Sputnik.
Australia, the US and the UK announced a new trilateral defence partnership last September. Australia prioritized it over a USD 66 billion contract with France for 12 conventionally powered military submarines, as AUKUS partners promised it technology to develop its own nuclear-powered submarines. (ANI)

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