16 Oct 2006

Solomons says changes to RAMSI must be addressed at Forum level

5:55 am on 16 October 2006

Solomon Islands Foreign Affairs Minister says the issue of changing the participation arrangements in the Regional Assistance Mission can only be addressed at the Forum level.

Honiara has threatened to remove the Australians serving with , which arrived three years ago to restore law and order after years of ethnic tension.

In a reference to Australia's attempts to extradite Julian Moti form PNG, The prime minister, Manasseh Sogavare, said that foreigners need to respect Solomons law.

The Foreign Minister, Patterson Oti said the government will be raising the debate on the equal distribution of participating countries in the Forum meeting next week in Fiji.

"The issues we want to cover with the rest of the parties in RAMSI, it's not something we can address directly with Australia on a bilateral basis. It's a regional arrangement and it has to be adressed through a regional framework and regional forum."