21 Aug 2013

Australia sorry about Lilo treatment in Brisbane

1:21 pm on 21 August 2013

Australia has apologised to the Solomon Islands prime minister for the way he was treated by Australian immigration officials in Brisbane last week.

Gordon Darcy Lilo says it was ridiculous that he had to undergo further checks after he gone through the normal checking procedure.

The Australian High Commissioner to Solomon Islands, Matt Anderson, has told local media Australian government agencies are trying to understand what happened and ensure that breaches of dignity do not occur again.

He says the Australian government takes very seriously its obligations and responsibilities under international and domestic law to protect foreign dignitaries from harassment or impairment of their dignity.

Last year, Australia moved a Vanuatu prime ministerial delegation in transit in Sydney to a room to arrest an advisor, which prompted Vanuatu to expel 12 Australian police officers.

Eight years ago, the Papua New Guinea prime minister, Sir Michael Somare, was asked by Brisbane airport security staff to remove his shoes.

Despite protests from PNG, Canberra refused to apologise.