PRIME Minister Sir Michael Somare has been bestowed the highest honour, the Star of the Solomons, in Honiara on Monday.
Upon his arrival in the Solomon Islands from Fiji on Monday, Sir Michael went to Government House and was awarded the highest honour in the Solomon Islands, by Governor-General Frank Kabui.
The ceremony was followed by an audience with Mr Kabui and Mrs Kabui.
Sir Michael then had a bilateral meeting with his counterpart, Dr Derek Sikua, and this was followed by a dinner hosted by Dr and Mrs Sikua for the PNG Prime Minister and his delegation.
Sir Michael also witnessed the signing of the contract to commence work on PNG’s new Chancery building in Honiara.
Sir Michael then opened the Regional Centre of the Open College of the University of Papua New Guinea where he also witnessed the graduation of the Solomon Islands students from UPNG and the University of Technology, Lae.
Sir Michael said in his address that PNG was honoured by the Solomon Islands when, as Prime Minister, he was bestowed the Star of Solomon Islands.
“Let me take this opportunity to once again, thank both the Government and people of the Solomon Islands for this great honour.”
He said the various activities on the programme highlight the ever-growing bilateral relations between Papua New Guinea and Solomon Islands.
“They signify, in practical terms, Papua New Guinea’s commitment and desire to further enhance its wide ranging relations with the Solomon Islands.
“Early this morning, we started with the signing of the contract to construct Papua New Guinea’s Chancery here in the Solomon Islands.
“We are grateful to the Government of Solomon Islands for making land available, in a prime site of Honiara, for us to build the Chancery.
“During my visit, our Magisterial Service began the process of renewing Papua New Guinea’s support to Solomon Islands magisterial service when the current agreement expires,” he said.