The Australian Defense Minister has made it clear that the creation of defense forces is an autonomous decision.
Pacific island nations Solomon Islands and Vanuatu are considering forming armies and have expressed their intention against Australia, Australian Defense Minister Richard Marles said in an interview on Wednesday.
Intentions to create defense forces had already been expressed by Solomon Islands Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare during his visit to China last week. For his part, when asking the Australian Defense Minister about this situation with the Solomon Islands, he made it clear that the creation of defense forces is an autonomous decision.
“It is clearly a Solomon Islands decision. And in my discussions with Prime Minister Sogavare, whom I have known for a long time, I wanted to make it clear that we consider this to be a Solomon Islands decision,” said the minister of Solomon Islands. Australian defense. “Australia would be very willing to work with solomon islands to be its natural partner of choice in the development of its defense force,” he added.
On the other hand, Marles also asserted that the Republic of Vanuatu intends to follow the same path. “Vanuatu is looking to go down this path as well. So we bring a lot of experience to the table. But I think the bottom line here is that we want to be the natural partner of choice for Solomon Islands and indeed all the Pacific countries,” Marles added.
Faced with China’s rapprochement with some countries in the South Pacific, the US promoted a series of agreements with nations in the region. In April, Washington had already expressed its intentions to Open an Embassy in Vanuatuin addition to reopening it at the beginning of the year and after decades, in the Solomon Islands.
Also, in May, it signed security agreements with Papua New Guinea, which include patrolling and maritime surveillance in the economic zone of the oceanic country. What led to react to China and describe these acts as “geopolitical games”.