12 Feb 2007

Solomon foreign minister tells consultation group an exit strategy is needed for RAMSI

8:37 pm on 12 February 2007

The Solomon Islands foreign minister, Patteson Oti, says the Pacific Islands forum has to start a dialogue process will all stakeholders to develop an exit strategy for RAMSI.

Speaking at the opening of the forum's consultations reviewing RAMSI, Mr Oti, says his government strongly believes there should be a time line showing when certain tasks should be completed.

He says the Solomon's government is not talking about RAMSI leaving soon, but at least stakeholders can work towards a timeframe so that the country does not become dependent on RAMSI.

Mr Oti says there is also need for a clear demarcation between RAMSI programmes and those run by the Australian governrment aid agency,AusAid.

He says with RAMSI being a regional initiative, as a matter of principle, it should not be drawn into the bilateral relationship between Solomon Islands and Australia.