16 Jan 2008

Solomon Islands prime minister to meet Australia's prime minister next week

10:32 am on 16 January 2008

The Solomon Islands prime minister, Derek Sikua, and the foreign minister, Mr William Haomae, are scheduled to meet Australia's Prime Minister, Kevin Rudd, and its foreign minister, Stephen Smith, next week.

The Solomon's high commissioner to Canberra is to meet Australian officials today in what is seen as a step towards easing tensions between the two sides.

In the past two months both countries have seen a change of government, with Solomon Islands parliamentarians dumping Manasseh Sogavare as leader.

He had hired an Australian fugitive, Julian Moti, as attorney general which soured relations between the two sides.

Mr Moti was extradited to Australia last month to face sex crime charges related to his time in Vanuatu in the 1990's.