17 Sep 2007

RAMSI presentation hiccup linked to Solomons scheduling problem

3:41 pm on 17 September 2007

The Solomon Islands government says the Regional Assistance Mission, or RAMSI, could not present its view at the provincial premiers conference because of a lack of time.

RAMSI's special coordinator, Tim George, expressed disappointment that he could not present his case as planned because the relevant conference session was cancelled.

In March, the prime minister, Mannaseh Sogavare, told RAMSI it must end its visit to rural provinces because it is indulging in propaganda.

The Secretary to the Prime Minister, Rence Sore, says they had to cancel the session because they were running late.

"It was a time issue. It was due to very short time available to them. It is not the government stopping them to do it. To talk to the premiers in Rennell and Bellona province, we have no problem with that. Consultations with the provinces after the premiers' meeting, the government has to be consulted."

Rence Sore says the government would need to know the issues RAMSI would want to discuss and it might need to accompany its delegation.