14 Jul 2011

Australia cannot determine future RAMSI pull-out alone, says Defence Minister

6:59 pm on 14 July 2011

Australia's Defence Minister says it's not up to his country alone to determine how quickly the number of soldiers serving with the Regional Assistance Mission to Solomon Islands will be reduced.

The Solomon Star reports Stephen Smith as saying RAMSI is already in a process of transition and the number of Australian servicemen is down to 80.

Speaking in Honiara, Mr Smith says any decision to withdraw the military component would require careful judgement.

He says it is a decision that must be made with New Zealand, other contributing Pacific countries and the Solomon Islands Government.