Solomon Islands to ban US navy ships from ports

TEHRAN, Aug. 30 (MNA) – The Solomon Islands government has told the United States it will place a moratorium on navy vessels entering its ports, the United States embassy in Canberra said on Tuesday.

The Solomon Islands has had a tense relationship with the United States and its allies since striking a security pact with China in May.

"On August 29, the United States received formal notification from the Government of the Solomon Islands regarding a moratorium on all naval visits, pending updates in protocol procedures," the embassy said in a statement.

A spokesman for Solomon Islands Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare earlier denied the reports of a moratorium and told Reuters that Sogavare would make a speech on Tuesday afternoon.

Sogavare would make a speech to welcome a US navy hospital ship, Mercy, which arrived in Honiara on Monday for a two-week mission, he said.

The embassy said Mercy had arrived before the moratorium.

"The US Navy ship Mercy received diplomatic clearance prior to the moratorium being implemented. We will continue to closely monitor the situation," the embassy said.


News Code 190825


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