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Friday, September 15, 2006

SI Opposition urges PM to resolve diplomatic stand-off with Canberra

Opposition leader Fred Fono is calling on Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare to quickly resolve the escalating diplomatic stand-off between Canberra and Honiara.

Mr Fono says he fears the row could impact on Australia's bilateral assistance to the country.

He says the scenario is worrying because Australia is providing 220-million dollars for this year and 2007. He says the money goes towards very important sectors of the country. Mr Fono says Australia is the largest contributor to RAMSI.

He says Solomon Islands is not in a position to lose much needed Australian aid, especially when it is still rebuilding from the recent difficult years.

Meanwhile, Leader of Independent Members of Parliament, North Malaita MP Daniel Enele Kwanairara says his members are concerned about the current diplomatic stand-off with Australia.

Mr Kwanairara says leaders must not forget the economic hardships, psychological trauma and unnecessary suffering caused by the recent ethnic tension. The north Malaita M-P says these were the results of poor leadership.

Mr Kwanairara says the government should focus on reconciliation, forgiveness, restoration and reconstruction as well as the government's rural development policy.

He says the Independent office doesn't believe this is a time for creating enmity and political hostilities with donor partners.

Mr Kwanairara warns that the consequences of the seemingly unnecessary row will be far reaching. He says it could easily hurt the fragile peace, reconciliation and reconstruction process now underway.

Source: SIBC

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