17 Jul 2008

Solomons/Forum talks hear Japanese bid to join RAMSI

6:56 pm on 17 July 2008

A meeting of the Forum Ministerial Standing Committee in Honiara has considered a proposal from Japan to cooperate with the Regional Assistance Mission to Solomon Islands.

The meeting was attended by Foreign Ministers from Australia, Solomon Islands and Tonga as well as ministers from Niue and Papua New Guinea.

The meeting saw discussions on the proposed Solomons-RAMSI Partnership Framework as the basis for ongoing consultations over RAMSI.

That and other items discussed, such as the implementation of the 2007 Forum RAMSI Review Taskforce Report, will be further addressed at next month's Forum summit on Niue.

Our correspondent, Dorothy Wickham, says the committee has agreed to look into Japan's offer of help to RAMSI's civilian component.

"Mostly providing advisors and helping with the development arm. But it's come out very clearly that Japan wants it to be under the framework of RAMSI and that it not be a bilateral arrangement, But the reasons they're giving for wanting this arrangement are not clear. But I think the reasons will come out when the leaders meet in Niue."

Dorothy Wickham