By Pacific Island Times News Staff
Caught in a tug-of-war between the world's superpowers, the Solomon Islands sought to strengthen its relations with the United States and Japan.
However, the Solomon Islands government said Washington's investments in the Pacific islands region were misplaced.
Leaders of the South Pacific nation raised concerns that "billions of dollars spent on military equipment is taking the world’s attention away from combating climate change," exacerbating the development challenges for countries in the region.
Nevertheless, Solomons leaders welcomed the commitments made by the White House at last year's Washington Summit, including the appointment of Ambassador Frank Reed as the Pacific Envoy.
"Solomon Islands' 'friends to all, enemies to none' policy remains as it seeks to preach diplomacy over conflict in the continuous increase of power politics in the region and the world," the Solomon Islands government said.
Honiara issued the statement following Solomon Islands Foreign Minister Jeremiah Manele's meeting with his Japanese counterpart, Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi, and members of a high-level inter-agency delegation from the White House.
According to a statement from the Solomon Islands government, "the visiting dignitaries were reminded of Solomon Islands' firmness in its position of focusing on its domestic risks and threats and that it values all partners, and does not want to engage in power politics but to uphold the principle of 'friends to all, and enemies to none.'"
The Solomon Islands is one of the few Pacific island nations that are diplomatically allied with China. Its controversial security agreement with Beijing has caused anxiety in the region due to concerns that it has opened the gateway for the People's Liberation Army to set up a military base in the Blue Pacific.
"The Solomon Islands government also used its meeting with the U.S. delegation to discuss certain reports in the public newspaper that undermines democracy," Honiara said. "The government said these types of allegations sow seeds of mistrust and misunderstanding in any relationship."