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HONIARA, Solomon Islands (July 27, 1998 - PACNEWS)---The Solomon Islands government has distanced itself from any responsibility in the early recall of the resident Ambassador from the Republic of China-Taiwan, Thomas Hsieh.

He returned to Taipei last week after allegedly being branded a prohibited person (persona non grata) for embarrassing the Ulufa'alu government in the Taiwan media.

Minister for State Assisting the Prime Minister Alfred Sasako said the Solomon Islands government did not have anything to do with the early recall of the diplomat.

Sasako said Hsieh could have been recalled by his own government for causing embarrassment to Taiwan Premier Vincent Siew and his government during Siew's visit to Honiara last month.

Sasako said problems included the Ambassador's handling of a planned meeting between a group of prominent Taiwanese business leaders who traveled to Honiara with the Premier and the Honiara business sector.

Premier Siew also was embarrassed, Sasako added, about remarks allegedly made to the Taiwan media that the Solomon Islands was begging for $US 100 million from Taiwan.

Sasako said this figure was not true because the project proposals which the Taiwan government had requested and had been submitted by the Solomon Islands government for possible funding amounted to only $US 17 million.

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