Solomon Islands Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare told his Australian counterpart on Thursday he would not do anything that undermined Pacific security and would not allow military bases in his country under a security deal with China, media reported.
Sogavare met his Australian counterpart Anthony Albanese in a brief visit to Canberra, and the Australian Broadcasting Corp reported he said Australia remained the development partner of choice for Solomon Islands.
Ties between Australia and Solomon Islands soured after the Pacific island nation struck a security pact with China in April. The agreement raised concern for the United States and Australia, who have for decades seen the Pacific region as largely their sphere of influence.
“Solomon Islands will not do anything that will undermine our national security and jeopardize the security of any or all (Pacific Island) forum countries,” the ABC reported Sogavare as saying at the start of the meeting.
“I reiterate again that Solomon Islands will never be used for foreign military installations or institutions of foreign countries because this will not be in the interest of Solomon Islands and its people.”