26 Aug 2013

More conflict in Solomons possible warns former NZ foreign minister

7:09 am on 26 August 2013

A former foreign affairs minister is warning that it is possible there will be more conflict in Solomon Islands, despite a deacde of international support that has cost New Zealand and Australia almost three billion dollars.

The Labour MP Phil Goff held the foreign affairs portfolio in 2003 when soldiers and police were sent to the strife-torn country in the form of the Regional Assistance Mission or RAMSI, after five years of bloody civil unrest.

In recognition of the country's stability RAMSI has been scaled down to policing-only.

Mr Goff says RAMSI has given Solomon Islands a reasonable chance of building on foundations that can achieve economic and social progress.

"I'm also conscious of the unvarnished views of some of the US diplomats by virtue of Wikileaks that felt that post the withdrawal of RAMSI that everything that had been acheived could be lost quite quickly."

Phil Goff says all Pacific countries will need to continue to support Solomon Islands but there is no guarantee of success.