Parliamentary Secretary for Pacific Island Affairs Richard Marles will today depart for a four day visit to Solomon Islands.
During his visit, Mr Marles will meet Solomon Islands Prime Minister Danny Philip, Foreign Affairs and External Trade Minister Peter Shanel, Treasury and Finance Minister Gordon Darcy Lilo and other senior figures within the Solomon Islands Government.
“Australia is firmly committed to assisting Solomon Islands achieve a stable and prosperous future, and my visit is part of our ongoing dialogue with the Philip Government on our mutual efforts to achieve this,” Mr Marles said.
Mr Marles and Parliamentary Secretary for Defence, Senator David Feeney, will be representing Australia at the annual Pacific Islands Forum (PIF) Ministerial Standing Committee on the Regional Assistance Mission to Solomon Islands (RAMSI), which provides oversight and governance of RAMSI operations.
“The Forum Ministerial Standing Committee is an excellent opportunity to review progress and discuss RAMSI’s future work program now that RAMSI is in a period of transition," Mr Marles said.
The Committee was established in 2008 in response to a recommendation of the PIF RAMSI Review Task Force Report. The meeting will include participants from New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, RAMSI and the Forum Secretariat.
Mr Marles will also visit the Western Province where he will meet Premier George Solingi Lilo, visit a secondary school upgraded with support from Australia and the Royal Solomon Islands Police Force (RSIPF)/RAMSI station and barracks in Noro.
In Honiara, Mr Marles will visit the RSIPF’s Maritime Unit where he will view the Australian-donated Pacific Patrol Boats and the Forum Fisheries Agency, established to help Pacific states sustainably manage the region’s fisheries resources.
This is Mr Marles’ second visit to Solomon Islands.
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