Washington – US opens embassy in Solomon Islands after 30 years This is because they are trying to strengthen diplomatic relations in the Pacific as a countermeasure against China.
Secretary of State Antony Brinken announced plans to open a diplomatic mission to the Pacific island nation during a visit to the region last year.
The last US Embassy in Solomons closed in 1993 amid post-Cold War budget cuts.
The United States was represented there by a Papua New Guinea-based ambassador.
In a statement Wednesday, Brinken said the State Department had notified the Solomon Islands government that the opening of a new embassy in the capital, Honiara, was official on January 27.
“The opening of the embassy will not only place more diplomatic personnel across the region, but will also engage more with our Pacific neighbors, link U.S. programs and resources with needs on the ground, and build people-to-people relationships. It’s based on our efforts to make a bond.”
The US move comes amid concerns among Washington and its allies about Beijing’s military ambitions in the Indo-Pacific after signing a security pact with the Solomon Islands last year.
During the meeting, he pledged to help stem China’s “economic coercion” and promised to work with allies and partners to address the needs of the islanders.
A joint declaration by Washington and 14 Pacific island nations resolved to strengthen partnerships, saying they share a vision of a region where “democracies can thrive.”
Those who supported the document included Solomon Islands Prime Minister Manase Sogavale, but his government had previously indicated it would not sign it, raising concerns about its relationship with China.
The distant atoll nation of Kiribati on Monday announced it would rejoin the Pacific Islands Forum, ending a schism that threatened unity at a time of heightened superpower tensions in the strategically located region.
Like the Solomon Islands, Kiribati switched diplomatic recognition in 2019 from an autonomous but China-claimed Taiwan to Beijing.
The reopening of the Solomon Islands embassy comes as Washington negotiates renewals of cooperation agreements with three major island nations in the Pacific: the Marshall Islands, the Federated States of Micronesia and Palau.
https://www.straitstimes.com/world/united-states/us-opens-embassy-in-solomon-islands-blinken-says US opens embassy in Solomon Islands, says Blinken