22 Aug 2003

Australian prime minister to visit Solomon Islands on Monday

5:07 pm on 22 August 2003

The Australian prime minister, John Howard, has confirmed that he will fly to Solomon Islands on Monday for a one-day visit.

Mr Howard says this will be an opportunity to thank the Australian-led intervention force for a job well done.

About 1,200 Australian troops and police make up the bulk of the force sent last month as part of operation Helpim Fren to improve law and order.

Mr Howard says he cannot say how long the forces will remain, but says police are likely to stay longer.

His visit will be the first to Honiara of an Australian prime minister since 1992.