14 Feb 2007

Solomons welcomes Forum role in RAMSI review

4:15 pm on 14 February 2007

The Solomon Islands government has welcomed the stronger role being taken by the Pacific Islands Forum in overseeing the Regional Assistance Mission.

An advisor to prime minister Manasseh Sogavare, Dr John Roughan, says Monday's meeting of Forum officials with the Solomons' government means there is now a mechanism in place to sort out any concerns over the RAMSI mission.

Last year, Mr Sogavare presented a five-point plan to Pacific leaders which included a call for the restoration of the mission's regional character and a reduction of Australia's dominance within it.

Dr Roughan says the concerns have not been resolved but there is now a means to deal with them because Monday's meeting will be repeated each quarter.

"To respond to or look into difficulties or misunderstandings or to clarify things because the whole name of the RAMSI means regional and this I think is the accent that the Solomon Islands government is asking not only Australia but also the Forum, to take on board."