14 Oct 2006

Solomons PM threatens to expel Australians deployed with RAMSI

10:09 am on 14 October 2006

Solomon Islands has threatened to remove the Australians serving with the regional assistance mission, RAMSI, which arrived three years ago to restore law and order after years of ethnic tension.

The prime minister, Manasseh Sogavare, has told parliament his government will review the Facilitation Act under which RAMSI operates.

Mr Sogavare says foreigners need to respect Solomons law.

His comment follows Australia's push to have the suspended attorney-general, Julian Moti, extradited on child sex charges.

Mr Sogavare says he won't allow his extraditioon to Australia.

Mr Moti is in remand for entering Solomon Islands without a passport, which Mr Sogavare has described as a simple immigration case.

Mr Sogavare says his government already has a contingency plan to replace the Australian military and police in RAMSI with another force.

The opposition leader, Fred Fono, says he is very surprised at Mr Sogavare's threats.

Mr Fono says there is a hidden motive in trying to instigate the stand-off between Australia and Solomon Islands.

He says it is unclear if Mr Sogavare has the numbers to change the Act to remove RAMSI.

On Wednesday, Mr Sogavare comfortably defeated a motion of no confidence.