7 Feb 2007

Forum delegation in Solomons for RAMSI review next week

4:39 pm on 7 February 2007

The Pacific Island Forum will send a delegation to Solomon Islands next week to consult the Honiara government over the review of the Regional Assistance Mission to Solomon Islands.

This follows the Forum summit in Fiji last October at the height of a diplomatic row between the governments of Solomon Islands and Australia which is the key force in the nearly four-year-old RAMSI mission.

The Forum visit was planned for December and was to be led by the Forum chair, Fiji's prime minister Laisenia Qarase, but he was overthrown in a military coup just days before his planned visit to Solomon Islands.

In the face of the illegal activities of the Fiji military, Forum leaders agreed to return the chair to Papua New Guinea.

The new delegation to Solomon Islands excludes Fiji and will be made up by officials from PNG, Tonga, Samoa and the Cook Islands and by Secretariat Staff.

The Forum says the Solomon Islands government and the Forum, in consultation with all Forum member countries, are currently finalizing the terms of reference for the RAMSI review.