By Timothy Inifiri Jr.
The Minister of Foreign Affairs and External Trade, Honourable Jeremiah Manele has told the media that as a state party to the Rarotonga Treaty, Solomon Islands’ position has been and will continue to be behind the idea of a nuclear-free pacific.
The treaty bans the use, testing, and possession of nuclear weapons within the borders of the zone.
This follows questions surrounding the country’s position after the United States, United Kingdom and Australia recently unveiled the details of their plans on creating a new fleet of nuclear powered submarines in the region.
“I think we will have a legacy of nuclear testing, storage and dumping in the region and we do not want that to happen”.
“I am not saying that the AUKUS arrangement will go into those but our position is with the Rarotonga Treaty “, said Hon. Manele.
Manele also emphasized that the country strongly upholds the values and principles of the treaty which bans the use, testing and possession of nuclear weapons within the borders of the region.
Meanwhile, under the Aukus pact, Australia will also get at least three nuclear-powered submarines from the US.