17 May 2005

Extension to RAMSI will boost economy, says Solomons peace council

8:22 am on 17 May 2005

The secretary of Solomon Islands Peace Council says they have asked the Eminent Persons Group to let the Regional Assistance Mission stay longer, to help boost the economy.

Nathaniel Supa says the Council's talks with the Group, which is reviewing RAMSI's work, were positive.

The Eminent Person's Group is led by the Fiji foreign minister and includes the secretary general of the Pacific Islands Forum.

Mr Supa says they want RAMSI to help out with development in the country, including improving roads and communications.

He says many industries could develop better, with RAMSI's help.

"At the moment our men have crops - copra and cocoa. But we need some kind of infrastructure to make this thing happen. Timber, oil palm, and things like that."

Nathaniel Supa says the Council would like RAMSI to stay on in the Solomons, for at least 10 more years.