18 Aug 2006

Solomons PM labels New Zealand comment an unprovoked attack

5:43 pm on 18 August 2006

Solomon Islands Prime Minister says comments by New Zealand Foreign Minister Winston Peters accusing Taiwan of cheque-book diplomacy and interference in the domestic politics of Solomon Islands are a direct attack on the country's sovereignty.

Manasseh Sogavare has described the comments as an unprovoked attack on the cordial relationship between Taiwan and Solomon Islands.

He says diplomatic relations were founded on the universal values of respect for human rights, freedom and democracy.

Mr Sogavare says New Zealand and the so-called developed democracies in the world are willing to trample on those universal values by advocating the One China Policy.

He says the New Zealand foreign minister is the latest victim of the old One China policy which suppresses the rights of the people of Taiwan.

Mr Sogavare says Solomon Islands recognised Taiwan as a real friend who stood by the country during national crises.

This week, New Zealand's foreign minister said Taiwan's involvement in the recent blow-up in the Solomon Islands was irrefutable.