16 Oct 2007

Solomons opposition wants Forum delegates to return home

4:11 pm on 16 October 2007

The Solomon Islands opposition leader says the two ministers who are in Tonga for the Forum should come home since they're boycotting the main event.

The foreign minister Patteson Oti and the planning minister Steve Abana are in Nuku'alofa but the Solomons government yesterday announced that neither would be at today's leaders' meeting, which is the focus of the forum.

The opposition leader Fred Fono says the boycott is disgraceful and proves the government is not prepared to face questions from Pacific leaders about RAMSI.

Mr Fono says even though the ministers are going to the post-forum dialogue, set to start tomorrow, the apparent snub of the main summit could jeopardise their meetings there.

The prime minister, Manasseh Sogavare, says his government decided not to take part in the summit because it didn't want controversy over RAMSI to overshadow other important matters on the agenda.