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Defence minister heading to Solomon Islands for talks

Richard Marles will meet with PM Manasseh Sogavare when he visits the Solomon Islands this week.

Richard Marles will meet with PM Manasseh Sogavare when he visits the Solomon Islands this week. Photo: Getty

Australia’s defence minister will soon head to the Solomon Islands for crucial security talks amid growing tensions in the Pacific.

Richard Marles will meet with Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare as well as government and security leaders this week in the capital, Honiara.

The deputy prime minister will also meet with Australian and Pacific personnel deployed with the regional Solomons International Assistance Force.

Mr Marles said the visit would reaffirm Australia’s commitment to working alongside the Solomon Islands.

“This visit will build on the long-standing partnership between our two nations, shaped by enduring connections, shared values and our joint efforts towards a secure and prosperous Pacific region,” he said.

“Our partnership is more important than ever.

“That is why we will continue to ensure Australia’s engagement across all sectors – including on jobs, health and security – is responsive to Solomon Islands’ needs and fit-for-purpose.”

Tensions in the Pacific flared last year after China signed a security pact with the Solomon Islands government.

– AAP

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