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By Makereta Komai, PACNEWS Editor in Port Moresby, PNG
Solomon Islands Prime Minister used his hand-over speech to his Papua New Guinea counterpart to apologise for any sour relations with other member countries during its two year as chair of the Melanesia Spearhead Group (MSG).
“Bilaterally, under our chairmanship over the two years, we may have renewed or soured some relationships with other members of our sub region by promoting aspirations of certain groups and individuals, said Prime Minister Rick Houenipwela, who is attending his first MSG Leaders’ Summit since his election in November last year.
He said if Solomon Islands had broken any bridges with any members of the MSG family during the two years, ‘we will make needful amends and rebuild these broken bridges.’
“We will normalise and enhance our bilateral relationships with all members of the MSG family. We will ensure to enhance our relationships with all members, associate members and observers of the sub regional organisation, said PM Houenipwela.
For the two years, the MSG met only once in Honiara.
“We could not reach consensus for us to meet the second time around. Despite, our inability to meet more than once, we remain as members of a strong and united MSG family.
“However, it is a known fact that families sometimes disagree. Despite, disagreements we will always remain as a united MSG family. Our chairmanship has not been easy, the two years was a very difficult time for us.
The Solomon Islands Prime Minister called for good sense to prevail when Leaders sit down today to discuss key issues before them.
“These key issues require our collaborative efforts to justly evaluate, scrutinise and provide proactive and realistic solutions to ultimately ensure efficient service delivery is provided in our sub region.
“Notably, the next few hours of our meeting will be interesting as we dig into discussions on political and policy issues on the management and operations of the Secretariat, said the Solomon Islands Leader.
He also reminded fellow MSG Leaders to meet their financial commitments to the Port Vila MSG Secretariat.
“I note the financial challenges the MSG Secretariat has experienced over the past few years and am encouraged by our strong and united support to work behind the able leadership of the Director General and his team in moving forward our common agendas of prosperity for all in our sub region.”
MSG member countries provided a rescue package to assist the Secretariat with its financial challenges for the past two years.
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