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Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Pacific leaders agree to review RAMSI's operations but with its Australian component intact

There has been a compromise reached over the future of the Regional Assistance Mission to the Solomon Islands, with Pacific leaders agreeing to review RAMSI's operations in the 37th Forum leaders meeting yesterday in Nadi, Fiji.

But they have stopped well short of the major restructure proposed by the Solomon Islands Prime Minister.

Manasseh Sogavare went to the forum with a five-point plan to completely overhaul the Regional Assistance Mission and reduce the involvement of Australians.

But after their opening day of talks, Pacific leaders have left RAMSI largely untouched.

They have agreed to establish a taskforce to review its operations, as well as a new consultative mechanism comprising representatives of the Solomon Islands and RAMSI, and the leaders of Papua New Guinea, Fiji and Tonga.

RAMSI will remain the largely Australian led and financed operation it has been since its inception three years ago.

Source: ABC News

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