4 Sep 2006

Solomon Islands to push for joint border patrols with PNG at talks

6:00 am on 4 September 2006

Solomon Islands is pushing for joint patrols on the border it shares with the Papua New Guinea autonomous province of Bougainville.

PNG will host the first joint border talks with Solomon Islands since the signing of the Basic Border Agreement between the two Melanesian countries in 2004.

The talks begin today as Dorothy Wickham reports:

"Solomon Islands agenda for the talks will be basically on immigration, police monitoring of the border. Permanent Secretary to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Jerry Manele, said that Solomon Islands would be pushing for joint border patrols of the Bougainville/Solomon Islands border. He says in the past Solomon Islands has had incursions from former militants from Bougainville; and also the fact that their traditional ties have to be considered. The delegation is being led by the minister of Police, Isaac Inoke, and he will be joined by the Foreign Affairs minister, Paterson Oti, who is currently in Palau, will be joining them in Papua New Guinea over the next few days."