Newly elected Solomon Islands PM to visit Australia

Solomon Islands Prime Minister Jeremiah Manele will travel to Australia as part of a week-long official visit strengthening ties between the two countries.

Mr Manele will arrive on Sunday and will stay in Australia until June 29, where he will meet with Prime Minister Anthony Albanese.

The newly elected leader will also travel to Queensland as part of the visit to see how the Pacific Australia Labour Mobility scheme was being carried out.

It will be the first overseas visit by the Solomon Islands leader since he was sworn into office in May.

Mr Albanese said the visit would expand Australia's relationship with the Solomon Islands.

"We highly value our position as Solomon Islands' partner of choice," he said.

"My government is committed to listening and working with Solomon Islands as equals, and to discussing how we can deepen our partnership into a new era of co-operation."

Talks between the two leaders are expected to centre on security partnerships, economic development, labour mobility pathways and infrastructure.

It comes amid heightened tensions in the Pacific region, following the Solomon Islands' decision in 2022 to sign a security pacy with China.

The security deal, which was signed by Mr Manele's predecessor Manasseh Sogavare led to concern among Western nations about China's growing influence in the Pacific.

Fears were also raised similar deals could be signed between China and nearby Pacific nations.

The upcoming visit by the Solomon Islands leader will be the second time Mr Albanese and Mr Manele have met after first meeting at Pacific Islands Forum in November.