19 Apr 2004

Nauru and Australia to hold talks on Nauru's financial problems

3:02 pm on 19 April 2004

The president of Nauru, Rene Harris, and the Australian Foreign Minister Alexander Downer are expected to meet in Melbourne this afternoon to discuss Nauru's financial crisis.

A foreign ministry spokeswoman has told the news agency AAP that the talks will go ahead at an undisclosed location.

Nauru's financial problems have worsened, with the American company General Electric Capital Corporation having appointed receivers to recover a debt of more than 170 million US dollars racked up by Nauru in relation to its offshore properties.

Last month, Mr Downer said Australia would give Nauru 17 million dollars to help stabilise the country's economy and strengthen law and order.

Australia also has a deal with Nauru which allows people seeking asylum in Australia to be sent to detention facilities on Nauru.