16 Nov 2006

PNG pulls out of RAMSI over Australian travel restrictions

2:35 pm on 16 November 2006

Papua New Guinea is pulling its personnel out of the Regional Assistance Mission to Solomon Islands, or RAMSI

Our correspondent in Port Moresby, Alex Rheeney, says a detachment of police, scheduled to go to Solomon Islands in January to join RAMSI's participating police force, has been told it will not be going.

Mr Rheeney says the cancellation follows the PNG government's decision to ban travel to Australia by public officials after a similar ban by Canberra stopping PNG ministers from entering Australia.

"From what I understand that is the reason behind the decision to stop the deployment of this latest group to Solomon Islands, because the seven policemen who were on standby to go to Solomon Islands were supposed to go to Australia for an induction course for six weeks before flying into Honiara in January. But that is not going to take place now."

Alex Rheeney.

A month ago, Niue joined RAMSI giving the mission support from all 16 Forum countries.