7 Dec 2012

Provincial premier critical of Solomon Islands backing of Palestine at UN

4:23 pm on 7 December 2012

The premier of Malaita in Solomon Islands says the country's vote at the United Nations in support of Palestine will negatively impact on programmes Israel is implementing in the province.

Palestine got overwhelming support at the UN last week to get non-member observer status.

The Solomon Star newspaper reports that Israel is providing technical expertise to establish 3 industrial parks in Malaita.

Premier Edwin Suibaea says the decision is not in the interests of Solomon Islands.

He says the programmes with Israel are to create employment for the 160,000 people that live on Malaita, to discourage them from migrating to the capital or other provinces.

Israel got nine supporting votes at the UN, including four from Pacific Island countries - Nauru, Palau, the Marshall Islands and the Federated States of Micronesia.