24 Jan 2003

Solomons government expects today grant from PNG-based group

12:49 pm on 24 January 2003

The Solomon Islands government today expects to be given a 350 million US dollar grant from a group based on the Papua New Guinea island of Bougainville.

The deal for the so-called freedom grant was struck between the Solomons government, led by the prime minister Sir Allan Kemakeza, and the Royal Assembly of Nations and Kingdoms.

The assembly's representative, Noah Musingku, who is wanted by the PNG authorities for his role in the collapsed U-Vistract pyramid scheme, is in Honiara and he says the deal will go ahead as planned.

"Everything is going according to the agreement, the terms and conditions set out in the agreement. Everything is going according to that process."

Meanwhile, the New Zealand foreign minister Phil Goff says the Solomon Islands government should be cautious over the promised grant.

Mr Goff says if a deal seems too good to be true it usually is.