The US Coast Guard cutter Oliver Henry was denied entry for a logistics port call in Guadalcanal because of a delay in submitting of required documents, prompting the ship to leave the islands’ waters before approval for entry was granted.
The Solomon Islands had to delay entry of a US Coast Guard ship earlier this month due to the late submission of information needed to approve access to the country.
The Solomon Islands requested partner countries to put on hold naval visits to the country until a revised national mechanism for entry requests is in place, Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare said on Tuesday, according to the Government Communication Unit (GCU).
To this end we have requested our partners to give us time to review and put in place our new processes before sending further requests for military vessels to enter the country.
Once the new mechanism is in place, we will inform you all. We anticipate the new process to be smoother and timelier.
The Solomon Islands have had unfortunate experiences with foreign naval vessels entering the country’s waters during the course of the year without diplomatic clearance granted, and would like to avoid such incidents from reoccurring.
However, the Solomon Islands have since welcomed the US Hospital Ship Mercy to the capital city of Honiara to carry out a number of health programs.
The situation comes amid raised US military and the collective West’s concerns over the increased security cooperation between China and the Solomon Islands.
Former Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison having called the construction of a Chinese base on the islands a red line for Canberra and Washington.
Sputnik / ABC Flash Point News 2022.