8 Dec 2010

Apologies end Solomons rift between PM and Dettke

4:13 pm on 8 December 2010

A Solomon Islands government spokesperson says both parties exchanged apologies during a reconciliation ceremony between Prime Minister Danny Philip and the minister he sacked last week.

The sacked forestry minister Bodo Dettke has accepted the position of fisheries minister following the ceremony.

Mr Philip's press secretary Alfred Sasako says the reconciliation took place because ministers saw the potential for the sacking to lead to the breakup of the ruling coalition.

But he says both parties apologised and exchanged shell money, during an emotional ceremony which was genuine and sincere

"From what I saw yesterday there was a lot of tears shed. That shows the internal man showing remorse for what transpired in the last week or two."

Alfred Sasako will give no further explanation for the sacking, after earlier saying it was sparked by Mr Dettke's decision to seize a logging ship.

Bodo Dettke has so far declined to comment on the reconciliation, which follows reported discussions he held with five other ministers who were calling for his reinstatement.