31 May 2011

Solomons disappointed at Canberra snub on detention issue

1:35 pm on 31 May 2011

The Solomon Islands government has expressed disappointment at reports the Australian government dismissed its offer of help with asylum seekers because of concerns about the country's stability.

The Prime Minister Danny Philip has confirmed Solomon Islands would have offered Stirling Island on its border with Papua New Guinea.

His press secretary David Tuhanuku says he's unhappy at reports in The Australian newspaper that the Gillard government was alarmed by the offer because of continuing instability in Solomon Islands.

"Describing the situation in Solomon Islands as fragile, and we have law and order problems in the country and the Prime Minister is quite disappointed with that. He believes that if there are issues to do with that they can be dealt with and discussed under the Partnership Framework between the Forum Region and the Solomon Islands Government under the auspices of the RAMSI arrangement."

David Tuhanuku says the question of payment to Solomon Islands was not discussed because there was no formal dialogue with Australia.