The Solomon Islands won’t allow foreign military vessels in its ports until new protocol procedures are adopted
Months after signing a security agreement with China, US Navy vessels were temporarily prevented from visiting Solomon Islands ports. This was according to the Australian embassy in Canberra.
“In formal notifications from Solomon Islands, the United States were notified by the Solomon Islands on August 29th regarding a moratorium for all naval visits. These updates are still under consideration in protocols procedures.,” the embassy stated.
Manasseh Sogavare was the prime minister of the Pacific country and asked his partners for some extra time so that the new procedures could be put into place to allow port visits. According to the minister’s statement, which was emailed to Reuters, when adopted, the new rules “All visiting vessels of the navy will be subject to this universal rule.”
His statement went on to say that the nation had “unfortunate experiences of foreign naval vessels entering the country’s waters during the course of the year without diplomatic clearance granted,” without providing any specifics.
After an August 23rd incident, a US Coast Guard vessel asked permission to stop for fuel and was denied by the Solomon Islands authorities. At the time, US National Security Council spokesman John Kirby said that Washington was “These were my disappointments.”
In response, Sogavare claimed that the US ship had received permission to dock, but when it was granted, the American vessel had already left the nation’s waters, apparently heading for Papua New Guinea instead.
The Solomon Islands and China signed an April security pact to protect their investment environment from security threats. The move, however, did not sit well with a number of Western countries, with the US saying that Washington was concerned about “The lack of transparency, unspecified nature” of the agreement. Australia, meanwhile, voiced concern that the treaty had the “Potential to cause instability in the region”
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