Israel wants answers from Solomon Islands over UN vote

Rowan Callick; 12/11/09

Israel is sending a foreign ministry official to the Solomon Islands next week to seek an explanation as to why it was the only country in Oceania to vote at the UN for the Goldstone report condemning Israel’s assault on Gaza. Solomon Islands’ Foreign Minister William Haomae a year ago flew to Iran, following a meeting at the UN in New York with counterpart Manouchehr Mottaki, to explore the prospect of formalising diplomatic relations, and of benefiting from Iranian aid. Prime Minister Derek Sikua also held talks with Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad when both were attending the UN General Assembly in September last year. Mr Haomae said at the time that Iran’s assistance might be helpful in dam construction, training for the oil and gas industries – for which the Solomons hopes to attract exploration – and trade in general.