20 Mar 2007

Australia's new representative in Solomons offers hand of friendship

10:09 am on 20 March 2007

Australia's new High Commissioner to Solomon Islands says he will work hard to help the ease diplomatic stalemate between Canberra and Honiara.

Speaking for the first time as High Commissioner, Peter Hooten said he also comes as a friend.

"I do not underestimate the range and complexity of some of the issues that confront us, but I believe that with the necessary spirit of goodwill, and the dialogue that I know we can establish, these issues are very capable of resolution."

Mr Hooten was finally accredited by Prime Minister Mannaseh Sogavare after being snubbed for three months after his arrival in Honiara.

He replaces Patrick Cole who was expelled from the country by the Sogavare government.