15 Jan 2007

Tough job for new Australian diplomat in Solomon Islands

12:24 pm on 15 January 2007

Australia's new high commissioner to the Solomon Islands Peter Hooton has been appointed to try to mend relations between the two nations, damaged by months of feuding.

The Age newspaper reports Mr Hooton's appointment was made last Friday and he is expected to take up his post within weeks - after his predecessor Patrick Cole was booted out of the Solomon Islands.

Mr Cole was expelled from the Solomons four months ago amid tensions over the Julian Moti affair.

His appointment was welcomed by Solomon Islands Foreign Minister, Patteson Oti, who described it as a positive step in maintaining meaningful relations between the two countries.