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Sunday, September 17, 2006

The contents of Sogavare's responding letter to Howard

By George Tausiria

Prime Minister Hon. Manasseh Sogavare on Friday told his Australian counterpart John Howard that it was not his government’s intention to engage in the politics of vengeance, nor focus on measures that would undermine the cordial relations between their two countries and peoples.

Mr Sogavare’s comments were contained in a letter to John Howard, delivered to the Australian High Commission in Honiara on Friday (15/09/06).

He said: “My government has factored into the cabinet decision I executed, the future that has already happened, particularly from Mr Cole’s clear unacceptable interferences in our domestic affairs.

“Furthermore, when your government continues to question the Commission of Inquiry’s objective, even when the High Court of Solomon Islands has cleared on 7 September the two questioned terms of references, then I am drawn to becoming nostalgic about Australia’s patronizing attitude.

“Above all, virtually, any position on any of these issues implies certain assumptions both about our sovereignty as a nation and the legitimacy of our judiciary to make judgments.”

The Prime Minister also acknowledged the continuing commitment from Australia to assist Solomon Islands in its post-conflict rebuilding efforts, particularly in the areas of good governance.

“Please be assured of my highest consideration towards re-strengthening relations between Solomon Islands and Australia,” Mr Sogavare said.

Source: Government Communications Unit

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