PNG may help Solomon Islands over Kerry visit

THE Government will assist the Solomon Islands if they need help to prepare for the United States Secretary of State John Kerry and Pentagon Chief Chuck Hagel’s visit this month.

Mr Kerry is visiting Solomon Islands on August 13 and the Solomon Island Government , at the last minute, ask for some specific assistance from Papua New Guinea in its preparations.

The American leaders will travel to Myanmar, Australia and the Solomon Islands later this month.

Mr Kerry will arrive in Myanmar’s capital Naypyitaw on August 9, where he will meet government leaders and attend a series of gatherings, including the ASEAN regional forum and East Asia summit ministerial talks.

"Engaging the region’s multilateral institutions are one of the key aspects of US commitment in Asia to promote peace, stability, and prosperity," State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said in a statement.

The United States’ top diplomat will also participate in a series of bilateral meetings during his stay in Myanmar.

From Myanmar, Mr Kerry will head to Sydney on August 11 for the annual Australia-United States ministerial consultations (AUSMIN), at which he will be joined by Hagel.

On August 13, he will travel to Honiara for meetings with government leaders. Mr Kerry will also attend wreath-laying ceremonies at the World War II Guadalcanal American Memorial and the Solomon Scouts and Coastwatchers Memorial.

Later that day, Mr Kerry will leave for Hawaii’s capital Honolulu to give a speech at the East-West Center.

American friendships are prospering in the Asia-Pacific region, where President Barack Obama’s "pivot" to Asia is anchored on reinvigorating alliances with Japan, South Korea, the Philippines and Australia.

Washington has also managed to coax Myanmar away from China and draw out Malaysia as well.

The Guadalcanal memorial was a joint effort of the American Battle Monuments Commission and the Guadalcanal-Solomon Islands Memorial Commission. ONE PNG / Post Courier
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