7 Jun 2005

Solomon Islands to abstain in key whaling vote

8:24 pm on 7 June 2005

Solomon Islands says it is against lifting the ban on commercial whaling.

The Prime Minister Sir Allen Kemakeza has announced that his Government will abstain from voting on the lifting of the moratorium on whaling when the International Whaling Commission meets next week in South Korea.

Previously, it has backed Japan's call for the ban to be lifted.

Sir Allen made the announcement during a visit to Honiara by Australia's Environment Minister, Senator Ian Campbell.

The Prime Minister also says Solomon Islands will support Japan's bid to continue its so-called research on whales only if the same limited number is killed.

Sir Allen says the decisions have been made because Solomon Islands does not want to tarnish its current very good relationships with both Australia and Japan.