4 Jul 2003

Solomons opposition says all offers for help should be considered

4:09 pm on 4 July 2003

A Solomon Islands opposition MP says any offers of help for the country should be accepted.

Alfred Sasako was speaking after Australian Prime Minister John Howard appeared to rule out French involvement in the planned intervention force, saying it needed to be kept under the Pacific Islands Forum banner.

However, his Foreign Minister Alexander Downer has since said French assistance would be welcome.

Mr Sasako says the extent of the problems facing Solomon Islands, in health and education and other sectors, is so great that any offers of help should be taken up.

"I think the interest that is being indicated, particularly by France, and if there others, like Japan and Taiwan showing similar interest, they should be encouraged and perhaps should be given a particular sector that they should direct their resource in."