5 Jun 2003

Australia says no decision yet on extra police help in Solomons

6:46 pm on 5 June 2003

Australia's Foreign Minister Alexander Downer says officials are likely to be sent to Solomon Islands next week to assess the state of security there.

Crisis talks on the law and order situation in the Solomons have been held today in Canberra.

Prime Minister John Howard and several of his Cabinet met a Solomons delegation headed by their Prime Minister Sir Allen Kemakeza.

Mr Downer told Parliament that the problem is not just the law and order situation on the ground but the consequences that flow from that.

"the difficulty they are having in running their Central Bank, and running their Finance Ministry, the problems they have in just running businesses day by day...the problems are complex but they go to the heart of the law and order problem"

Mr Downer says the Australian team going to Honiara will probably be joined by New Zealand officials.