22 May 2006

New Zealand's Foreign Minister to meet Solomon Islands Prime Minister in Honiara

9:18 am on 22 May 2006

New Zealand's Foreign Minister, Winston Peters, is due to meet the Solomon Island's prime minister, Manasseh Sogavare, shortly to discuss the future of the Regional Assistance mission, RAMSI.

This follows Mr Sogavare calling for an exit strategy for the RAMSI mission, and for locals to begin taking over administrative roles from foreign workers.

Mr Peters says Australia and New Zealand have made a sizable investment in Solomon Islands and the conditions need to be stable before an exit strategy can be implemented:


"I don't know whether he's talking about rushing to get rid of RAMSI. When you raise the issue of an exit strategy, everyone involved, would have in their minds an exit strategy but the question is, what are the conditions under which it woud be used."

Mr Peters says it is important to understand the thinking of the new government which will be one of the aims of the meeting.