10 Aug 2016

No permanent AFP presence planned for Solomons

7:53 am on 10 August 2016

There are no plans for the Australian Federal Police to establish a permanent post in Solomon Islands according to the country's government.

Solomon Islands Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare inspects a guard of honour by members of the RSIPF before the opening of the National Response Department facility.

Solomon Islands Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare inspects a guard of honour by members of the RSIPF before the opening of the National Response Department facility. Photo: RAMSI Public Affairs

Last month there were reports that Australia's Minister for International Development, Concetta Fierravanti-Wells had made comments suggesting plans to establish a permanent AFP post.

The reports were met with surprise by the commissioner of the Royal Solomon Islands Police Force and later criticism from local political activists.

But the Solomon Island government's special secretary for RAMSI, John Wasi, said neither Solomon Islands nor Australia had ever expressed interest in establishing a permanent AFP post in Honiara.

Mr Wasi said there were ongoing discussions with Canberra over the establishment of a new "Policing Cooperation Framework" but he said whatever the final outcome of these talks Solomon Islands police would always have full control and responsibility for front-line duties.

He said in the meantime the force would continue to receive mentoring and training support under existing arrangements which included support to the police maritime unit and patrol boats.

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