PM Hou unveils Solomon Islands’ London mission

LONDON, 26 APRIL 2018 (SOLOMON STAR) – The newly-established Solomon Islands High Commission Office in London was officially commissioned over the weekend.

Prime Minister Rick Hou officiated in the ceremony. Hou was in London for the Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting.

Speaking during the occasion, the Prime Minister said it was a historic moment for Solomon Islands as it also marked a new era in our long history with the United Kingdom.

He said just as the United Kingdom was looking to re-engage in the Pacific Islands region, Solomon Islands was also looking to further strengthen its traditional ties with the UK.

“History tells us that Solomon Islands gained her Independence from Great Britain 40 years ago this year. Yet today, in the era of globalisation, we cannot deny the value of inter-dependency,” Mr Hou said.

“Genuine and durable partnerships that result in tangible mutual benefits has now replaced the donor-recipient relations of yesteryear.”

He said the opening of the diplomatic mission in London was also a manifestation of our strengthened partnership with the United Kingdom.

“This new paradigm, with a focus on partnership in the development cooperation sphere, is the way forward. In this connection, Solomon Islands looks forward to enhancing and strengthening its already successful partnership with the United Kingdom through this renewed commitment between our nations.

“One may ask as to why it has taken this long for Solomon Islands to establish a mission in the UK. Let me say that despite the absence of a physical presence in London, our relation with the UK has always been solid,” he said.

The Prime Minister said Solomon Islands relationship with UK had never waivered.

“Given UK is exiting the EU, we see an opportunity for us to benefit and engage more directly at a bilateral level. As they say, as one door closes, another even bigger one opens,” he said.

Prime Minister Hou said Solomon Islands representation in London would also allow Solomon Islands to work more effectively with its international partners in promoting collective agendas.

“It will also allow us to bring to bear our national interests and priorities in these agendas as well that will further strengthen our cooperation in the area of investment, trade and development cooperation,” he said.

The opening ceremony was also attended by the UK Minister of State for Asia and the Pacific at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office Hon Mark Field, Members of the Diplomatic Corp, Minister for Foreign Affairs & External Trade of the Solomon Islands Hon Milner Tozaka, High Commissioner designate Eliam Tangirongo, Solomon Islanders living in and around London and other parts of UK and friends of Solomon Islands.

Field speaking on behalf of the UK Government has congratulated Solomon Islands for opening its office here in London.

He said it is a new beginning as Solomon Islands continues to reach out to its friends around the world.