13 Jan 2003

Solomons government clarifies comments on EU funding over USP debt

5:40 pm on 13 January 2003

Solomon Islands Minister of Education Mathias Taro says the Government is still waiting for confirmation that the European Union will pay the Solomons huge debt with the University of the South Pacific.

Last week Mr Taro said the EU would pay around seven million US dollars to cover outstanding fees and the Solomons' contribution to the running of the USP.

But Mr Taro now says they are still waiting to hear from Brussels.

"we have received confirmation from the resident advisor here confirmation in the sense that he has acknowledged our submission, he has assisted us in signing that submission and the issue has been sent over to Brussels so I think a response from the office in Brussels is the one we are waiting for"

Mathias Taro.

He says they are contacting the EU in Brussels on a daily basis.

Mr Taro says the debt problem must resolved by end of this month or Solomons students will no longer be accepted into the USP.

The EU has previously indicated it is willing to make a significant contribution toward the debt problem, and is considering providing fully funded scholarships.