26 Aug 2004

RAMSI co-ordinator says more countries could contribute

7:21 am on 26 August 2004

The new head of the intervention force to Solomon Islands says more Pacific countries could contribute troops.

Ten of the 16 Pacific Islands Forum member countries are involved in the Regional Assistance Mission to Solomon Islands.

The new Special Co-ordinator of RAMSI, Jim Batley, who has replaced Nick Warner, says the recent Forum summit in Apia reiterated the region's support for the mission.

Mr Batley says the world is taking an interest in the outcome.

"It's very important that we continue to guard that success, because it's not only the region that is watching. Internationally, in Europe, in North America, Asia, countries and international organisations are watching what the region is doing here."

Jim Batley says the changes in RAMSI's leadership will not affect its focus on rebuilding the Solomons.