23 Oct 2006

Melanesian countries voice anger over police raid on Solomons leader's office

7:11 pm on 23 October 2006

The Melanesian Spearhead Group has come out with a strongly worded statement condemning the raid on the Solomon Islands prime minister's office.

Linda Skates reports from Nadi

"The prime minister of Papua New Guinea, Sir Michael Somare, and his Vanuatu counterpart, Ham Lini, joined with the Solomon Islands prime minister, Manasseh Sogavare, in calling the action provocative and unnecessary. The raid, by Australian members of RAMSI's Participating Police Force, resulted in a door being broken into and the removal of equipment. The leaders described the action as a serious violation of Solomon Islands sovereignty. The Fiji prime minister, Laisenia Qarase, did not sign the document although his name was included in the statement, suggesting there were differences of opinion over what stance to take."

The MSG leaders say they will raise the issue at the Forum.