The United States opened an embassy in the Soloman Islands in a bid to counter China's expanding influence in the region, according to NHK World.
This move is seen as part of the US strategy to enhance its involvement in the Indo-Pacific, as China expands its influence in the region.
In a statement, the US Secretary of State said the opening of the embassy in the capital city Honiara symbolizes a renewal of the relationship between the two countries. The US closed its embassy in the island nation in 1993.
"Today we are opening the US. Embassy in Honiara, Solomon Islands less than one year after we announced our intent to open it. Doing so symbolizes a renewal of our relationship and underlines the strength of our commitment to our bilateral relations, the people of the Solomon Islands, and our partnerships in the Indo-Pacific region," read the statement released by the US Department of State on Wednesday.
"We value our shared history and sacrifice with the Solomon Islands and look forward to continuing to strengthen our partnership in a range of areas, including economic development, combatting the COVID-19 pandemic, and addressing the challenges of climate change," the statement added.
The opening of the embassy builds the efforts not only to place more diplomatic personnel throughout the region, but also to engage further with our Pacific neighbors, connect United States programs and resources with needs on the ground, and build people-to-people ties. The department informed the government of the Solomon Islands that the opening of the embassy became official as of January 27, 2023, and the US thanked them for their support to advance our bilateral relationship in this way.
Russell Comeau will continue to serve as US Charge d'Affaires ad interim at the new U.S. Embassy Honiara. Comeau arrived in the Solomon Islands in October 2021. (ANI)