14 Nov 2006

Australia yet to make conciliatory gesture, says Solomons PM

7:53 pm on 14 November 2006

The Solomon Islands Prime Minister, Manasseh Sogavare, says it is up to Australia to make a move to heal the rift between the two countries.

Mr Sogavare says his government has made a number of conciliatory gestures since Canberra took exception to plans for an inquiry into the riots in Honiara in April.

Mr Sogavare says he has dropped two terms of reference to the inquiry and aqnnounced his government's willingness for the suspended attorney general, Julian Moti, to be sent to Australia, to faces child sex charges.

He says Australia has made no conciliatory gestures.

"We are opening up our doors and in fact the politicians from Australia are here. The Opposition politicians are here. In fact the Opposition Federal spokesman for the Pacific was here last week discussing matters with us. The Opposition spokesman for Foreign Affairs might want to come and visit us. I am willing to open the doors and it is about time that the ministers also come because we are barred from entering Australia."