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HONIARA, Solomon Islands (Solomon Star, Dec. 5) – A crown land lease agreement was signed last Friday in Canberra, Australia, between the Government of Solomon Islands and the Australian Government National Capital Territory.

The Solomon Islands High Commissioner to Australia, Milner Tozaka, who signed on behalf of the Solomon Islands Government, said the block of land was acquired purposely for the building of a Chancery and Residence for the Solomon Islands High Commission in Canberra.

"The Mission has been renting properties for the office and staff residence since its establishment 10 years ago. This provides opportunity to the Solomon Islands Government to own its property for the Mission and illuminates the cost of renting," the High Commissioner said.

On signing the agreement, the High Commissioner, Tozaka thanked the Chief Executive of the National Capital Territory for the support and consideration in offering the land which the Solomon Islands Government eventually formalized its acceptance with gratitude today.

"I would like to reaffirm that the Government of Solomon Islands places great emphasis on its relationship with Australia and accordingly endorses this by securing the land, placing its commitment to a continuing and long friendship with Australia," Mr. Tozaka said.

December 6, 2005

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