13 Jun 2003

Solomon Islands parliament may be recalled to change laws for foreign intervention

10:53 am on 13 June 2003

The Solomon Islands parliament is to be recalled after a first round of talks in Honiara with Australia and New Zealand about a possible armed intervention to restore law and order.

An extraordinary sitting has been scheduled to begin in just under two weeks after the prime minister earlier said the house would not sit before November.

A team of Australian and New Zealand officials have this week met a cross-section of Solomon Islanders to canvass views following last week's crisis talks in Canberra between Australia and Solomon Islands.

A top Solomon Islands government advisor, Sir George Lepping, says decisions on any assistance are yet to be made after an Australian report this week called for armed intervention in what it says is a failing state.

"The government is cautious to really see what we really need. It might be only logistics. If some personell at what level? You know all these things add up to be discussed before we can say yes this would be an intervention."

Sir George Lepping

Meanwhile, our correspondent in Honiara says the Australian delegation has told a meeting of Australians living in the country that the proposal has been endorsed by MPs on both sides of the House, Civil Society, the churches and the nine provincial premiers.