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Solomons PM Sogavare says foreign base would make it a military target

Solomons PM Sogavare says foreign base would make it a military target

Solomons PM Sogavare says foreign base would make it a military target

Solomon Islands PM Manasseh Sogavare.

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  • Solomons Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare says the Solomon Islands will not host a foreign military facility.
  • The Solomon Islands signed a secret security deal with China.
  • Pacific leaders met this week to discuss security and competition between the US and China in the region.
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SUVA, Fiji: Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare said Thursday that the Solomon Islands will not host a foreign military facility because it will be targeted for “military strikes,” as Pacific leaders battled with China’s security ambitions.

The leader of the Solomon Islands is at the Pacific Islands Forum meeting. This is the first time the group has met since his country signed a secret security deal with China.

Despite denials, the security arrangement between China and the Solomon Islands has raised concern in the Pacific area that Beijing may establish a permanent military presence on the island.

Sogavare told RNZ Pacific that establishing a foreign military installation in the Solomon Islands would make the nation an “enemy” of the Pacific.

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A base would “also make our country and our people targets for prospective military strikes, and the government of Solomon Islands will never allow that to happen,” he said.

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On Wednesday the leader of the Solomon Islands met with Australia’s new prime minister, Anthony Albanese.

Sogavare hugged Albanese at the Pacific Islands Forum, telling the Australian leader, “I need a hug.”

The leaders’ meeting this week was mostly about security and the competition between the US and China in the Pacific. The US is making a huge diplomatic push into the region with more money and new embassies.

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