28 Mar 2003

United States says Solomons still part of coalition of the willing

10:17 am on 28 March 2003

The United States has ignored a Solomon Islands government statement that it is not in support of the US war on Iraq.

The Solomon Islands prime minister, Sir Allan Kemakeza, issued a statement this week, saying his government is in support of the United Nations position on Iraq.

However, the Solomon Islands government did stress its continued support for the global fight against terrorism.

But the US government has issued an expanded a new list of supporting countries which now includes more than a quarter of all UN members, including Solomon Islands.

New on the expanded US list is Tonga.

Meanwhile, the Solomons opposition's foreign affairs spokesman, Alfred Sasako, says Washington should at least get moral support at this difficult time.

He says the Solomons particularly owes the US a huge debt because thousands of Americans paid the ultimate price to liberate the country from the Japanese 60 years ago.

"At a time when we do not have any resources whatsoever, I do not think that any public stands that would be seen as being negative to a main ally like the United States, would be something that I would encourage."