21 Mar 2006

Bougainville foreign policy is within the PNG government's ambit

10:18 am on 21 March 2006

Papua New Guinea's Foreign Affairs and Immigration Minister Sir Rabbie Namaliu says

Bougainville's foreign policy is within the Papua New Guinea government's ambit.

Sir Rabbie had been responding to concerns by Joseph Kabui, Bougainville's president.

Mr Kabui said that the autonomous Bougainville government should have been represented in a Melanesian Spearhead Group foreign ministers' meeting last week in Vanuatu.

But Sir Rabbie, who attended the Vanuatu meeting, says the activities of five former Fijian soldiers on Bougainville was not the only agenda discussed at the meeting.

He says there were a lot of other regional issues tabled.

However, Sir Rabbie says when there are meetings in relation to Bougainville - its leaders will be included.

Joseph Kabui had said any moves by the PNG government and its MSG colleagues to address the situation involving the Fijians would not succeed without input from the autonomous government.