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Monday, September 18, 2006

Australia stand-off forces Solomons PM to change trip

By Pacific correspondent Steve Marshall

The Australian Government has tightened its travel rules for politicians from the Solomon Islands in response to the expulsion of Australia's High Commissioner.

Solomon Islands Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare leaves for New York tomorrow, the same day as expelled High Commissioner Patrick Cole heads to Brisbane.

But they will not be on the same flight.

The tightening of travel rules by Canberra on Solomon Islands politicians visiting Australia, in retaliation to the High Commissioner's expulsion, has forced Mr Sogavare to fly via Fiji instead of Australia to the United States.

The new rules mean Solomons MPs have to apply for entry to Australia for each visit.

Mr Sogavare faces a vote of no confidence when the Solomons Parliament resumes in two weeks.

Source: ABC News

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