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Thursday, September 14, 2006

Solomon Islands will not retaliate over Visa denial

By Chris Leua

The Solomon Islands government will not take any retaliatory action against the current action by Australia to withhold issuance of visas to Solomon Islands politicians.

“We will not engage in any retaliatory act in relation to the decision by Canberra to stop issuing visas to Solomon Islands parliamentarians.”

“The Solomon Islands government has stood by its decision, and therefore, what measures Canberra decides on will be taken in that context, although we would really prefer to have ongoing dialogue with the Australian government,” said Hon Patteson Oti, Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade.

The Solomon Islands Prime Minister Hon. Manasseh Sogavare was in agreement with his foreign minister.

He said Solomon Islands would not react on the visa restrictions from Australia.

He said by blocking visas Australia shouldn’t unnecessarily cut off direct communications between Canberra and Honiara.

The restriction of Australian visas to Solomon Islands Parliamentarians was effective as from midnight last night.

Source: Government Communications Unit

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