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Manasseh Sogavare said in parliament earlier today he learnt of the treaty “in the media” and claimed he should have been directly consulted by Mr Morrison.

Mr Sogavare said Mr Morrison should have discussed the treaty with the Solomon Islands, among other Pacific nations, prior to the public announcement.

Manasseh Sogavare, Prime Minister of Solomon Islands.
Prime Minister of Solomon Islands Manasseh Sogavare has lashed out at Scott Morrison over the AUKUS deal. (AP)

“One would expect that as a member of the Pacific family, Solomon Islands and members of the Pacific should have been consulted to ensure this AUKUS treaty is transparent since it will affect the Pacific family by allowing nuclear submarines in Pacific waters,” Mr Sogavare said.

“I realise that Australia is a sovereign country, which can enter into any treaty it wants to, transparently or not. Which is exactly what they did with AUKUS.

“When Australia signed up to AUKUS, Mr Speaker, we did not become theatrical or hysterical… about the implications this would have for us.

“We respected Australia’s decision.”

Prime Minister Scott Morrison speaking in Tasmania.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison responded to the comments while on the campaign trail in Tasmania. (9News)

Mr Morrison responded to the comments today, saying he did speak with Mr Sogavare about the AUKUS treaty.

“I did have that conversation with the Prime Minister, the day following the announcement, and no issues were raised at that time in that discussion,” he said.

“But obviously, as time goes on and new relationships are entered into, there’s obviously been some clearly other influences in the perspective taken by the Solomon Islands Prime Minister.”

AUKUS is a security pact between Australia, the UK and the US which was announced in September last year, under which Australia will acquire nuclear-powered submarines.

Countries with the highest military expenditure in the world

Mr Sogavare also criticised Australia for not containing the Solomon Islands riots late last year.

Mr Morrison said Australia responded promptly to the riots by sending ADF personnel to the Pacific nation.

“Immediately upon being requested to send support to the Solomon Islands late last year, we did so,” he said.

“Our servicemen and women, they didn’t stay home for Christmas last year, they went and supported peace and stability in the Solomon Islands.”

Source: 9News

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