15 Jul 2004

A new head of the Australian led intervention in Solomon Islands named

3:53 pm on 15 July 2004

An Australian diplomat with widespread experience in regional troublespots was today appointed the head of the regional peacekeeping mission, RAMSI, in Solomon Islands.

James Batley, who ran Australia's diplomatic mission in East Timor throughout the violence which followed its independence vote, will take over from his countryman, Nick Warner.

Mr Batley is a former Australian High Commissioner to the Solomons.

In announcing the appointment, the Australian Foreign Minister Alexander Downer said the new focus of RAMSI is the long term repair of government institutions, including the police force.