Solomons didn't raise issue over AUKUS: PM

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The Solomon Islands did not raise any issue with Australia signing up to the AUKUS security pact when the Pacific nation was informed of the arrangement, according to Prime Minister Scott Morrison.

Mr Morrison said Australia remained the primary security partner of the Solomon Islands, despite criticism from Solomon Islands Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare about the terms of AUKUS.

Speaking before the Solomon Islands parliament, Mr Sogavare slammed Australia for not consulting with it on the terms of AUKUS and acquiring nuclear submarines.

The heated comments were made in light of the Solomons signing a security pact with China, which attracted concern from Australia about the deal.

However, Mr Sogavare had accused Australia of hypocrisy for not consulting over AUKUS.

"I learnt of the AUKUS treaty in the media. One would expect that as a member of the Pacific family, Solomon Islands and members of the Pacific should have been consulted to ensure this AUKUS treaty is transparent," he said.

"I realise that Australia is a sovereign country, which can enter into any treaty it wants to, transparently or not, which is exactly what they did with AUKUS."

However, Mr Morrison said the Solomons was informed of the deal in a similar manner to other countries.

"I spoke to Prime Minister Sogavare the day following the announcement," Mr Morrison told reporters in Tasmania on Friday.

"I did have that conversation ... and no issues were raised at that time in that discussion.

"As time goes on and new relationships are entered into, there's obviously been some clearly other influences in the perspective taken by the Solomon Islands prime minister."

The Solomons security deal has become one of the leading issues of the election campaign, with the opposition accusing the government of dropping the ball on Pacific relations.

Mr Morrison said China building a military base in the Solomons would be a "red line" for Australia.

Mr Sogavare said the Solomon Islands did not criticise the AUKUS deal when news of the alliance became known.

"When Australia signed up to AUKUS, we did not become theatrical or hysterical about the implications this would have for us," he said.

"We respected Australia's decision."

Despite the attacks, Mr Morrison said Australia had moved to assure the Solomons and other Pacific countries about the terms of the AUKUS deal.

"Once we entered into it and we made our announcement, it was very important that we engage quickly with our allies and partners in the region, which is exactly what we did," Mr Morrison said.

Mr Sogavare took aim at Australia's security treaty with the Solomons, saying it was inadequate after riots in Honiara were not contained.

Australia sent a peacekeeping force to the Solomons in late 2021 following the riots.

Mr Sogavare said the riots nearly "crippled" the country.

However, Australia's prime minister said the Solomons were appreciative of the work carried out by Australian forces.

"Australia is their primary security partner in the region. We're the first call," he said.

"We were the first call when those things occurred in December and we would be so again."

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