To'abaita Authority for Research & Development (TARD)

[P.O Box 13, Honiara, Solomon Islands/ Email: Tel:+677 7424025]

Welcome to the TARD Homepage...{Sore lea tale oe uri fula lamu mai la biu ne'e TARD}...TARD is To'abaita's rural voice on the web

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

SI PM turns away Australian Envoy in another twist to the diplomatic row between the two countries

One of Australia's most senior foreign affairs officials has been turned away from meeting the Solomon Islands Prime Minister.

When envoy David Ritchie arrived at Manasseh Sogavare's office a short time ago he was told to make an appointment through Foreign Affairs.

Mr Ritchie - who is a deputy secretary of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade had planned to visit Mr Sogavare says that Australia has deep concerns about corruption and especially recent attacks on the judiciary.

The decision not to meet Mr Ritchie is the latest move in a serious diplomatic row that flared between Australia and Solomon Islands.

It follows the expulsion of Australia's High Commissioner to Honiara Patrick Cole.

Australia's Foreign Affairs Minister Alexander Downer described the expulsion as outrageous.

He says Australia is opposed to plans by the Solomon Islands Government for a commission of inquiry into this year's riots.

Mr Downer accuses it of trying to cut across the legal processes, which he says would be completely at odds with support for the rule of law.

Mr Sogavare's explanations for not meeting Mr Ritchie can be heard in the Mid-day Report through the SIBC radio after the news today.

Meanwhile, the Australian Federal Opposition says the expulsion of the Australian High Commissioner from the Solomon Islands reflects poorly on the Howard Government.

Labor's Bob Sercombe says the Federal Government should have known there was a major problem with the Solomon Islands.

He says the Federal Government has a reputation for arrogance in the Pacific region.

Source: SIBC

Copyright©2006-2010 To'abaita Authority for Research and Development (TARD). All rights reserved