“The United States received formal notification from the Government of Solomon Islands regarding a moratorium on all naval visits, pending updates in protocol procedures,” a US embassy spokeswoman said in a statement Tuesday.
Solomon Islands Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare has deepened ties with China’s autocratic government and proposed changing the constitution to delay scheduled elections, fuelling concerns about democratic backsliding. Source: AAP / Rick Rycroft/AP
“The United States is disappointed that the US Coast Guard ship was not able to make this planned stop,” the statement said.
The four-time prime minister has twice been ousted by votes of no- confidence, and has faced street protests against his decision to switch diplomatic recognition away from Taipei to Beijing.
It was unclear whether the suspension also applied to the navies of other countries, including close partner Australia.
A statement issued by the office threatened to ban or deport reporters for “disrespectful and demeaning” coverage and said some foreign media were trying to “engineer regime change”.