4 Oct 2006

Solomons foreign minister says RAMSI not involved in row with Australia

10:32 am on 4 October 2006

The Solomon Islands Government is calling on Australia to leave the Regional Assistance Mission to Solomon Islands, out of the diplomatic stand off between the two countries.

Speaking in Parliament yesterday, foreign minister Patteson Oti said RAMSI is a regional initiative and the rift between the two countries is a bilateral one.

Mr Oti said Australia has threatened that any moves by the Solomons government to redirect RAMSI will lead to the disintegration of RAMSI.

He said Australia also criticized Solomon Islands for failing to acknowledge its 120 million US dollars in aid assistance.

Mr Oti said it will be interesting to know how much of that money is spent in the country, especially in the rural areas.