Wed, Nov 01, 2017 - Page 3 News List

Solomon Islands crisis would not affect Tsai visit

By Stacy Hsu  /  Staff reporter

President Tsai Ing-wen’s (蔡英文) scheduled visit to the Solomon Islands today will not be affected, despite threats of a vote of no confidence against Solomon Islands Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) said yesterday.

“The Solomon Islands’ ruling and opposition parties unanimously agree that Tsai’s delegation is of great importance, and that they should complete receiving them before dealing with domestic politics,” Department of East Asian and Pacific Affairs Deputy Director Peter Lan (藍夏禮) said.

Despite the political uncertainty, the situation has not affected Taiwan’s relations with the Solomon Islands, nor will it affect Tsai’s schedule, Lan said.

Seven of the South Pacific nation’s Cabinet ministers, including Solomon Islands Deputy Prime Minister Manasseh Maelanga, resigned on Saturday and plan to initiate a vote of no confidence against Sogavare next week.

Asked whether the government was aware of the political situation prior to Tsai’s visit, which began on Saturday, Lan said the government has been paying close attention to developments in the Solomon Islands.

“This year marks the 34th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties between Taiwan and the Solomon Islands,” Lan said.

“A lot has happened during the period and we believe our friendship and bilateral cooperation will continue to go smoothly,” Lan added.

As the Solomon Islands has a parliamentary system, a vote of no-confidence is always a possibility, he added.

Tsai is scheduled to arrive in the Solomon Islands this evening for the final leg of her eight-day state visit to the nation’s diplomatic allies in the Pacific.

She is to stay there for two nights before returning home via the US territory of Guam.

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