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Sogavare’s absence will not affect SI’s ability to receive support from US, says PIF SG

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Sogavare, right, of Bidden at their meeting last year. Sogavare didn't attend this year's summit
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Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare’s absence from the Second Pacific Islands Forum-US Summit will not in any way affect Solomon Islands ability to receive assistance from the United States.

Sogavare’s decision not to attend the Summit and sent his Foreign Minister Jeremiah Manele had caused a stir in the region.

 “We are disappointed that PM Sogavare of the Solomons does not plan to attend,” a Biden Administration official said after learning that Sogavare was not attending the summit.

On his arrival in Honiara, Sogavare told reporters: “At least we have our representatives there. We were always given three minutes to talk and we will be sitting down only to listen to them lecturing us of how good they are.”

In his monthly press conference with regional journalists both online and reporters present at the PIF Secretariat today, Secretary General Henry Puna was asked the question on whether there will be impacts on Sogavare not attending the meeting.

In response Puna clearing stated: “The fact that PM Sogavare was not at the PIF-US Summit does not in any way affect the capacity or ability to receive assistance from the US.”

At this year’s summit, President Biden pledged to work with Congress to provide USD$200 million more in funding for projects in the region aimed at mitigating the effects of climate change, spurring economic growth, countering illegal fishing and improving public health, according to a document issued after a working lunch with the group.

“These new programs and activities continue to demonstrate the U.S. commitment to work together with the Pacific Islands to expand and deepen our cooperation in the years ahead,” the document said.

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