6 Apr 2004

Australia's Prime Minister expresses optimism over Forum meeting

11:31 am on 6 April 2004

Ahead of the meeting, which is due to get underway shortly, the Australian Prime Minister, John Howard, said he was optimistic that greater regional cooperation could be achieved.

Speaking this morning from Sydney airport to the Australian Associated Press, Mr Howard said the meeting would be a landmark along the path to a more cohesive Pacific area.

He said Australia had a very strong view that the Forum needed to be energised.

He said we need more reform, more collaboration and more pooling of regional resources.

He said he was very optimistic that he was going to see greater cooperation and greater progress in so many areas in the Pacific.