No response to US coastguard cutter Oliver Henry​ request to refuel in Solomon Islands

Ship was on patrol for regional fisheries agency when port visit request was made amid tension over China security pact.

United States Coast Guard vessel USCGC Oliver Henry was unable to enter Solomon Islands for a routine port call because the Solomon Islands government did not respond to a request for it to refuel and provision, a U.S. official said.

The Solomon Islands has had a tense relationship with the United States and its allies since striking a security pact with China in May.

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Britain's Royal Navy declined to comment on social media reports that patrol vessel HMS Spey, also taking part in Operation Island Chief to monitor for illegal fishing in the economic exclusion zones of Fiji, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands and Vanuatu, was declined port access by the Solomon Islands.

"Ships' programmes are under constant review, and it is routine practice for them to change. For reasons of operational security we do not discuss details," a Royal Navy spokesman said in a statement emailed to Reuters.

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