21 May 2009

Solomons government defends signing RAMSI deal

1:42 pm on 21 May 2009

The acting prime minister acting in Solomon Islands has rejected accusations that the country was bullied by Australia into signing a partnership framework agreement with the Regional Assistance Mission, RAMSI.

Australia, Papua New Guinea, Niue, Tonga and Solomon Islands signed the agreement at the end of the third Forum Ministerial Standing Committee meeting in Honiara.

The opposition leader, Manasseh Sogavare, says Australia bullied the government into signing the document.

But acting prime minister, Fred Fono, says Cabinet made its own decisions to accept the terms and conditions of the partnership framework.

The framework outlines the work and relationship between RAMSI, the Pacific Islands Forum and the Solomon Islands government for the next four years.