16 Mar 2010

Solomons PM defends cost of trips to Palau and Brussels

9:55 am on 16 March 2010

The Solomon Islands Prime Minister has rejected Opposition claims that recent trips by his delegation to Palau and Brussels cost taxpayers 500-thousand US dollars.

The Solomon Times newspaper reports that despite the opposition's claims, Dr Derek Sikua insists the two trips only cost about 150-thousand US dollars of taxpayers money.

Dr Sikua says that considering the success of the trip to Palau where Parties to the Nauru Agreement discussed ways to ensure member countries including Solomon Islands get the maximum benefit from their tuna resources, the cost was minimal.

He adds that in Brussels, the agreement by the European Union to provide budget support for Solomon Islands worth over 22-million US dollars proved the trip was worth taking.