21 Apr 2005

Solomons ambassador suggests US war wrecks environmental timebombs.

8:15 pm on 21 April 2005

Solomon Islands says the United States must act before major damage is done by oil leaking from wrecked warships which have been rusting in its waters for more than sixty years.

The Solomon Islands ambassador to the United Nations, Colin Beck, is trying to establish a bilateral mechanism aimed at preventing prevent major environmental damage.

Mr Beck says he hasn't asked to meet President Bush, but he's made his views known at an ambassadorial level, and at the recent UN summit of Small Island States.

"It's actually trying to mitigate, to have some sort of arrangement in place, before it actually happens. And I think this has been acknowledged at the international meeting, so it's really, I think the international community do recognise that it's something that could be done."

A spokesman for the US state department, Noel Clay, says he expects to provide an initial response tomorrow.