Solomon Islands PM Hou meets new Australian Prime Minister

Solomon Islands Prime Minister Rick Houenipwela met with the new Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison in Canberra. Picture: Marise Payne/Twitter

CANBERRA,14 SEPTEMBER 2018 (SIG) – Solomon Islands Prime Minister Rick Houenipwela has met with the new Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison in Canberra.

The Prime Minister met his Australian counterpart at the Australian Parliament House Thursday.

Australia Prime Minister Morrison welcomed Prime Minister Houenipwela acknowledging him as the first foreign leader to meet with him since assuming office a fortnight ago.

Morrison said Prime Minister Houenipwela’s courtesy visit to Canberra is an illustration of the importance and closeness between both countries.

“Solomon Islands is an important partner and you are an important leader to Australia and in the pacific,” the newly elected Australian Prime Minister told Prime Minister Houenipwela.

Prime Minister Morrison also assured of his support to Solomon Islands and his government’s policies in the pacific region.

“Our relationship has grown from strength to strength,” he said.

Prime Minister Houenipwela in response said it is an honour to be the first foreign leader to pay a courtesy visit to Prime Minister Morrison.

The Prime Minister reaffirmed the warm and cordial relationship shared between the two countries.

“Australia is an important partner and friend to Solomon Islands and we will always embrace the friendship we share,” he said.

Both leaders also discussed the newly signed labour mobility scheme between Australia and Solomon Islands.

The Australian Prime Minister has agreed to provide technical support to address the technical constraints faced by the scheme as experienced in the past.

The two prime ministers also discussed the sub-marine cable project, Tina Hydro, tourism, border and maritime security to name a few.

Prime Minister Morrison has assured Prime Minister Houenipwela of his Government’s commitment to these projects in Solomon Islands.

Meanwhile, the new Australian Prime Minister has also shared his historical story as a 10-year old boy that visited Honiara during his childhood days.

“My parents worked on a cruise ship and I can still recall visiting Honiara when I was a 10-year old boy. In fact, the memorable moment was when I had a walkabout in Honiara and accidently kicked a broken bottle and cut my foot,” he jokingly shared with the Prime Minister.

The Australian Prime Minister said he looks forward in visiting the Solomon Islands sometime in the near future.

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