30 Jun 2003

Pacific Island Forum countries are being asked today to support an intervention force in Solomons

7:35 am on 30 June 2003

Pacific foreign ministers will be asked today to support an Australian-led intervention in the Solomon Islands.

Camberra is seeking regional backing to put a force of up to 2,000 soldiers and police into the Solomons,

New Zealand has already commited up to 200 troops and 40 police ...ten officers are stationed there already.

Foreign ministers of the 16-nation Pacific Islands Forum are meeting in Sydney today to discuss possible assistance, which could also include personnel from Fiji and Papua New Guinea.

The meeting is being held within the context of the Forum's Biketawa Declaration that was passed in 2000, that provides for a regional responses following a request for help from any of the member nations.