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HONIARA, Solomon Islands (Solomon Star, July 10) - United States President George W. Bush says his country values the long friendship it has had with Solomon Islands.

Congratulating Solomon Islands on its 28th Independence anniversary, Bush says "the people of our two nations have stood side-by-side in conflicts from the Second World War to the global war on terror."

He commended Solomon Islands for continuing to support the Regional Assistance Mission to the Solomon Islands to restore good governance and promote the rule of law.

"As we face the challenges of the year ahead, I look forward to working together with you to make both the Pacific region and the world more secure," Bush said.

His message was delivered to Governor General Sir Nathaniel Waena.

"On behalf of the American people, I extend best wishes to you and the people of the Solomon Islands as you celebrate your nation’s Independence Day on July 7."

Solomon Islands, a former British colony, gained its independence in 1978.

Since then, the country has had five Governor Generals and six prime minister.

The country’s political development is not an easy one.

Frequent change of government is a common characteristic of the country’s democratic system. Former Prime Minister Sir Allan Kemakeza was the first to have been in power for his full four-year term in office.

July 11, 2006

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