On 30 August 2022, following the unsuccessful/aborted port calls of the USCGC Oliver Henry and HMAS Spey to the Solomon Islands during their participation in the Pacific Islands Forum Fisheries Agency-led, Operation Island Chief, the Solomon Islands have indicated:
“[T]he need for the government to review and refine its approval requirements and procedures for visiting military vessels to Solomon Islands […] to this end we have requested our partners to give us time to review and put in place our new processes before sending further requests for military vessels to enter the country […]
The government has asked all partner countries with plans to conduct naval visits or patrols to put them on hold until a revised national mechanism is in place. These will universally apply to all visiting naval vessels”GCU Press (30 August 2022)
The port call of USNS Mercy on 30 August 2022 was unaffected due to prior diplomatic clearance. Note, the GCU Press Release refers to a need for diplomatic clearance to enter the Solomon Islands “waters” and “the Government have communicated its position to all countries requesting to send in naval ships into Solomon Islands waters”.