25 Nov 2008

Solomon Islands MP says he breached no law in taking a trip to Iran

11:14 am on 25 November 2008

The Solomon Islands Minister of Foreign Affairs William Haomae says he breached no law in taking his recent trip to Iran.

Mr Haomae was responding to questions in parliament from Opposition leader, Manasseh Sogavare, who has been critical of government contact with Iran.

Mr Sogavare said Mr Haomae's visit should be scrutinised by the Foreign Relation Committee first because Iran is known for sponsoring terrorism.

However, Mr Haomae says he was authorised by cabinet to visit Iran to explore areas of trade and education under a Cooperative Arrangement the two countries signed recently.

The Solomon Star newspaper reports Mr Haomae as saying the trip to Iran was not to establish diplomatic relation and that it was made with an open mind and no stereotypical views of that country.

Mr Hoamae has produced a report to Cabinet on the trip and says it's up to cabinet to make the final decision whether to establish diplomatic relations.