Morrison arrives in Solomons in first visit by an Australian PM in decade

Scott Morrison
Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison chats to an officer when inspecting the guard of honour on his arrival at Honiara International Airport. Image: Solomon Star

By Ian Kaukui in Honiara

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison has arrived in Solomon Islands on a two-day state visit.

His trip to Honiara marks his first overseas trip since being elected in the May 18 federal election.

For Solomon Islands Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare, Morrison is his first overseas counterpart to officially visit him.

READ MORE: Morrison receives warm welcome in Solomons as he pushes Pacific ‘step-up’

The last Australian Prime Minister to visit Honiara was Kevin Rudd in 2008.

Morrison touched down at the Honiara International Airport at 5.20pm yesterday to a colourful welcome.

His party was greeted on arrival by Prime Minister Sogavare, his wife Madam Emmy Sogavare, Foreign Affairs Minister Jeremiah Manele and other top government officials.

After being welcomed and garlanded, Morrison then inspected a guard of honour on the tarmac.

Bilateral talks
Both prime ministers will hold bilateral talks later today.

A highlight is expected to be discuss about China’s presence in the region.

Other issues at the top of agenda will be climate change, labour mobility and ongoing Australian support to Solomon Islands.

Morrison has also announced a financial package to support Solomon Islands workers getting employment in Australia over three years.

Prime Minister Morrison will also meet with the Solomon Islands Football Federation (SIFF) president William Lai today to look at ways that Australia can assist the country in football.

It is understood Morrison will also meet with former Prime Minister Rick Hou today.

One of the major projects being supported by the Australian government is the the undersea cable which is set to be completed and is due to be launched September.

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