In a landmark event this morning, the United States of America has raised its national flag in Honiara – marking the opening of their new embassy in Honiara.
The low-key event occurred outside the BJS Building at the Point Cruz where the US Embassy is located.
In a statement to the press, the US says it is pleased to broaden its engagement with the people of Solomon Islands and deepen its cooperation with the government by opening its embassy here.
The embassy will be headed by US diplomat Russell Comeau as charge d’affairs and interim to Solomon Islands mission.
The statement further states that the government of Solomon Island now has more direct access to the broader range of opportunities for engagement through their embassy here.
“Becoming an embassy is first step that will hasten the process of establishing permanent facilities and deploying additional diplomatic personnel,” it says.
The US says as one of the first countries to recognize Solomon Islands after its independence, it is pleased to join fellow partners at embassy level.
“The action stands as an enduring symbol of our commitment to the country and the region,” it says.
The US embassy in the Solomons will serve as a key platform from which the US Government will continue to develop the Indo-Pacific partnership with a critical partner, based on shared values of democracy, human rights and the rule of law, the state reads.
The US had an embassy here but was closed in 1993.
Permanent Secretary of Foreign Affairs Collin Beck in congratulating the US on its opening of the embassy said the U. S never left the Solomons adding that the were reachable through the Port Moresby office. Port Moresby looked after Honiara and Port Vila.
One of the first tangible programmes that the two countries are working on now is the return of the Peace Corp programme which was very popular in the 1990s.