4 Jun 2012

Opposition MP says Vanuatu government should let Australian police return

1:52 pm on 4 June 2012

An Opposition MP in Vanuatu says Australian Police should be allowed to return to the country before an international conference is held in Port Vila next week.

The Australian Federal Police were expelled from Vanuatu in May after a senior government official was arrested on fraud charges while at Sydney airport with the Prime Minister, Sato Kilman.

The former Foreign Minister, Jo Natuman, says the expulsion was a bad decision and officers should be allowed to return before a conference between African, Caribbean, Pacific and European countries begins on June the 11th.

"We are experiencing a lot of prisoner escapes and there have been two murders in the last few weeks and we are expecting to host the ACP/EU meeting here and people arriving this weekend."

Jo Natuman says he believes the government expelled the Australian Police to make better ties with Indonesia.

Under a recently signed co-operation agreement Indonesia is to provide police and paramilitary training to Vanuatu, which in turn is to avoid getting involved in West Papua.