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PM Sikua Hails Taiwan Vice President Lu's Visit

Prime Minister Sikua Hails Vice President Lu's Visit

Solomon Island Prime Minister Hon. Dr Derek Sikua hails the visit of Taiwan's Vice President Annette Lu as a significant step to promote deeper relations and mutual cooperation between the governments and people of the two countries.

Vice President Lu was visiting Solomon Islands on Friday as part of her three nation tour to further strengthen relations with Taiwan's pacific friends.

Addressing the Vice President and her 49-member high level delegation on Friday, Dr Sikua said the visit signifies the great importance the Republic of China, Taiwan places on its relationship with Solomon Islands.

The relationship between the two countries has grown over the last twenty five years and the future looks brighter for the governments' and peoples of the two countries.

"Our two countries have stood the tests of both internal and external pressures that could have destabilized our friendly relations but these tests have helped guide the processes that build our relationship to new strength," Dr Sikua said.

The Prime Minister said the visit was rightfully arranged as his Coalition for National Unity and Rural Advancement (CNURA) Government just took office and needs to further strengthen and reassure each other of the firm diplomatic relations existing between the two countries.

"I am proud to note that our countries relationship is based around trust and mutual dialogue and also embraces the fundamental principles and values of freedom, democracy, respect for human rights and dignity, the rule of law, and the shared vision for progress and prosperity of the people of our two countries.

"My Government is fully committed to further enhancing our cordial relationship in to the foreseeable future," Dr Sikua said.

Dr Sikua reassured Vice President Lu that Solomon Islands is ready to defend the aspirations of Taiwan in the international arena and to also pursue the eventual membership of Taiwan in the United Nations and other relevant international organizations.

On the domestic front, the Prime Minister applauded the continuous assistance Solomon Islands received from the Taiwanese government in the areas of health infrastructure, agriculture, fisheries, grant assistance programs, education and human resource development.

"These programs have really benefited the government and people of Solomon Islands," he said.

Dr Sikua said the signing of the Framework Cooperation Agreement (FCA) in Marshall Islands last year was a step forward in the friendly relations between the two countries.

"It has enabled us to diversify and enhance our relationship and it also acts as a guiding principle for future cooperation and hopefully the establishment of a joint consultative mechanism to ensure equality and transparency in these documents," Dr Sikua said.

Dr Sikua said his government, among others issues, is fully committed to enter into the various phases of the proposed Free Trade and the Labor Mobility Agreements which Solomon Islanders believe will advance the mutual cooperation to even greater heights.

During the visit, Vice President Lu met with the Governor General His Excellency Sir Nathaniel Waena, Prime Minister Sikua and Cabinet Ministers.

Vice President Lu and her delegation left Solomon Islands on Saturday.

ENDS

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