31 Jul 2006

Solomons to re-affirm Taiwan ties

12:57 pm on 31 July 2006

The Solomon Islands government says its foreign minister is in Taiwan to reaffirm diplomatic ties between the two countries.

The foreign minister, Patteson Oti, is leading a four-member delegation to Taipei following an invitation by the Taiwanese government.

Mr Oti is a member of the National Party which had said it might switch the country's diplomatic allegiance from Taiwan to China.

He is expected to have a meeting with Taiwan's President Chen-Shui Bien and the Taiwanese foreign minister, James Huang, today.

A Solomons government spokesperson, Sam Alasia, says the government hopes to consolidate relations with Taiwan.

"The Foreign Affairs Minister, Honorable Oti, with a small delegation is currently in Taiwan. Just to hold discussions on a number of issues that concern the bilateral relations that Taiwan has with the Solomon Islands. That's one of the main reasons for them going."

Mr Alasia says the prime minister, Manasseh Sogavare, is to visit Taiwan from August the 10th.