11 Oct 2005

Solomons leader says country would have struggled without help from Taiwan

4:52 pm on 11 October 2005

The Solomon Islands Prime Minister, Sir Allan Kemakeza, has expressed his gratitude for the help given to the country by Taiwan.

He says Solomon Islands would have found it extremely difficult to cope without that assistance during the years of unrest.

Taiwan gave tens of millions of dollars in soft loans - much of which was used for a series of controversial compensation payments.

Sir Allan says Solomon Islands is committed to helping Taiwan become a full member of the international community.

The Prime Minister's comments came at a celebration to mark Taiwan's Double Ten National Day.

At the ceremony, the Governor General Sir Nathaniel Waena presented the Taiwanese Ambassador, Antonio Chen, with the country's highest honour, the Cross of Solomon Islands.

Earlier this year, Sir Nathaniel gave the same award to the Prime Ministers of Australia and New Zealand.