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Wednesday, March 26, 2008

SI Prime Minister urges Downer to leave Taiwan and Solomon's bilateral relations alone

Prime Minister Dr Derick Sikua says recent comments by Australia's former Foreign Affairs Minister Alexander Downer that Taiwan deals with Solomon Islands on the basis of cheque book diplomacy were unfortunate.

Dr Sikua says Mr Downers comments demonstrates his continuing lack of respect for the sovereign affairs of island countries in the region, including Solomon Islands.

He says bilateral relations between the Republic of China and Solomon Islands are based on mutual respect, understanding and genuine partnership, and not on cheque book diplomacy.

Dr Sikua says Taiwan's funding assistance to Solomon Islands is geared towards the development aspirations of the government and people of Solomon Islands.

He says appropriate measures and guidelines have been put in place to ensure transparency and accountability in how government uses Taiwan's funding assistance.

Dr Sikua says he hopes Mr Downer will find something more appropriate to comment on than on issues that are within the sovereign jurisdiction of independent states and governments.

Source: SIBC

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