SUVA, Jan. 15 (Xinhua) -- The South Pacific island nation of Vanuatu is not interested in a security treaty with Australia as this will affect the country's Non-Aligned status, a Vanuatuan government minister has said.
According to Vanuatu's Daily Post on Tuesday, Vanuatu's Foreign Minister Ralph Regenvanu said in an interview with the newspaper that "Vanuatu is not interested in an exclusive security treaty with any one country," as this agreement would affect Vanuatu's Non-Aligned status. And this stance was not aimed specifically at Australia.
The Vanuatu minister made the comments ahead of Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison's official visit to the island nation later this week.
The newspaper has learned that Australian officials asked for a security treaty with Vanuatu during Vanuatuan Prime Minister Charlot Salwai's official visit to Australia last year, but Regenvanu said that Vanuatu has not responded positively yet.
Reganvanu ruled out the possibility that Vanuatu would change its Non-Aligned status, saying that there would be no prospect of a change in Vanuatu's Non-Aligned status.
However, the minister said that doesn't rule out an agreement dealing with internal security, law and order, or humanitarian deployments.
He made it clear that there were many areas that the two countries could improve cooperation, coordination and understanding.
Reganvanu also regards Morrison's visit as a positive sign towards action around climate change. The Australian prime minister is expected to cut the ribbon on an Australian-funded Police training college facility during his two-day visit from Wednesday.