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By Joanna Sirehetin

HONIARA, Solomon Islands (Solomon Times Oct. 10) - Solomon Islands Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare says his decision to skip the Pacific Islands Forum Meeting in Tonga is made to avoid a clash with the Taiwan-Pacific Allies Summit in Marshall Islands.

Solomon Islands will be represented next week by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Patterson Oti, and Minister of Development Planning, Steve Abana, and other top government officials.

Mr Sogavare will hold talks with Taiwanese President, Chen Shui-bian, in Taipei soon after the allies meeting in Majuro.

Last year's first summit in Palau focused more on Taiwan's effort on a regional rather than purely bilateral level, not on funding issues.

The Majuro summit is going to enhance the cooperation spirit among these allies and will help push forward developments in the medical and health, fisheries, environment, cultural, and economic cooperation issues set out at the Palau summit.

Supervising Director of Government Communications, George Herming, said the summit would look at how to further strengthen efforts in these areas.

"It will provide for a review of what's happened since Palau, and where we can push forward," Mr Herming told Solomon Times Online.

He said Taiwan has implemented a lot of projects in its pacific allies over the past year.

"These included multiple mobile medical missions to the six Pacific nations and training program for health personnel from the islands, fisheries and aquaculture projects, environmental activities, and cooperation in economic development," Mr Herming said.

Taiwan's six Pacific allies included Marshall Islands, Solomon Islands, Palau, Kiribati, Tuvalu and Nauru.

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