11 Jul 2003

Australian Solomons deployment waiting on establishment of immunity for officials

3:52 pm on 11 July 2003

The Australian prime minister John Howard says forces will be deployed to the Solomon Islands shortly, after the parliament there unanimously endorsed a motion approving an Australian-led intervention force.

However, Mr Howard says he can't put a date on the deployment as yet, but that Australian troops will be sent there in the near future.

"there is some debate still going on about the extent of the legal immunity to be given to the civilians who will participate in the intervention on our behalf - when that is sorted out I will be in a better place to say when"

Australian prime minister John Howard.

New Zealand is to contribute up to 200 soldiers and 40 police to the Australian-led force.