27 Apr 2007

Solomons prime minister says relations with RAMSI have improved greatly

1:40 pm on 27 April 2007

The Solomon Islands Prime Minister says a better understanding has been created between his government and the Regional Assistance Mission, RAMSI, because of this month's earthquake and tsunami.

Manasseh Sogavare says this is because his office has had the chance to work directly with RAMSI's Special Coordinator in the disaster stricken areas of Choiseul and Western Provinces.

Mr Sogavare says the time they spent travelling together last week visiting the affected areas helped both get to know each other well.

Speaking on the arrival in his country of the Pacific Forum team chosen to review RAMSI, Mr Sogavare acknowledged that relations between RAMSI and Government have improved greatly.

The relationship became strained over the last year with Mr Sogavare critical of Australia's dominance of the operation and pushing for RAMSI's departure.

Mr Sogavare says he appreciated correspondence from the Special Coordinator's Office, raising issues with the government and requesting dialogue to find solutions.

The prime Minister says the terms of reference for the review have been tossed back and forth between the Forum and Honiara several times before both parties agreed on them.