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U.S. opens embassy in Solomon Islands, Blinken says

2023-02-01T17:37:47Z

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken addresses the United Nations General Assembly during the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty review conference in New York City, New York, U.S., August 1, 2022. REUTERS/David ‘Dee’ Delgado

The United States has opened its embassy in the Solomon Islands, Secretary of State Antony Blinken said on Wednesday, as Washington seeks to boost diplomatic relations in the Pacific as a counter to China.

Blinken announced plans to open a diplomatic mission in the Pacific island nation during a visit to the region last year.

“The opening of the embassy builds on our efforts not only to place more diplomatic personnel throughout the region, but also to engage further with our Pacific neighbors, connect United States programs and resources with needs on the ground, and build people-to-people ties,” Blinken said in a statement.

The State Department informed the Solomon Islands’ government that the opening of the embassy in the capital Honiara became official as of Jan. 27, Blinken said.