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Monday, May 22, 2006

Downer has no time for crook Politicians

Australia’s Foreign Affairs Minister, Hon. Alexander Downer says “he has no time for crook politicians in Solomon Islands”.

Addressing guests at a reception hosted by Foreign Affairs Minister, Hon. Patteson Oti in Honiara on friday night, Mr Downer expressed discomfort over the level of alleged corruptive practices that are endemic among certain politicians in the country.

He said Solomon Islanders are generally good and honest people but there are also some bad guys within the good population.

Mr Downer made reference to some leaders who were stirring the troubles that wrecked Solomon Islands in the last five years without naming them.

“I have no time for them,” he said.

He said one of the aims of RAMSI is to assist Solomon Islanders to extinguish corruption from this land once and for all.

“We don’t want to see people getting rich illicitly,” he warned.

Mr Downer left Honiara on Saturday after a public meeting with members of the Civil Society Network in Honiara.

Meanwhile, New Zealand’s Foreign Affairs Minister, Hon. Winston Peters assures Solomon Islanders his country will ensure people here reap the gains from the Regional Assistance Mission.

He said RAMSI is a regional initiative and New Zealand remains committed to ensure the mission achieved its purpose here.

Mr Peters, who accompanied his Australian counterpart Alexander Downer on a joint visit to Solomon Islands met with Prime Minister Hon.Manasseh Sogavare and Foreign Affairs Minister, Hon. Patteson Oti on Friday.

Among issues talked about were corruption and the presence of RAMSI in Solomon Islands.

Mr Peters said the success of RAMSI is a pride for the whole Pacific region.

“If we succeed, we are all uplifting the great pacific theatre,” he said.

The Foreign Minister said corrupt people should not be allowed to destruct the resources of this country and New Zealand is committed to help Solomon Islands on that.

“We don’t want to see people with different objectives here,” he said; “Your resources are for you.

“We don’t want to start promising people building bridges where there is no river,” he said.

Mr Peters visited Malaita on Saturday and travels to Western Province yesterday. He is expected to hold bilateral discussions with Prime Minister, Hon. Manasseh Sogavare on today before leaving for Port Moresby.


George Herming
Government Communications Officer


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