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Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Sogavare disappointed with Australia's response to the Moti release offer

By George Herming

Solomon Islands Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare is disappointed with the Australian government’s refusal to accept conditions attached to an offer to release Julian Moti to clear allegations against him in Australia.

Mr Sogavare said the Solomon Islands government cannot continue to tolerate Australia’s ignorant and bullying attitude. He said Moti is appointed by the Solomon Islands government and he is a public officer in Solomon Islands.

Mr Sogavare said the government is responsible for protecting its officers and the conditions set over Mr Moti justify that protection. “I can’t put my officer into the hands of a lion,” the Prime Minister said.

He said some ignorant Australians have influenced certain Solomon Islanders including the local media to join them in a ruthless campaign to oust him from office in the last two months.

The majority of Solomon Islanders are supporting the current government and the Prime Minister wants Australia to stop using RAMSI as an agent to destabilize the government’s course.

Foreign Affairs Minister Patterson Oti said Canberra miserably failed to reciprocate Honiara’s efforts to resolve the current political tension. "We have been more positive in our approach in wanting to mend the relations. We have not had anything coming from Canberra to suggest how we can make any movement forward,” he said.

Mr Sogavare asked Solomon Islanders to watch out for Australian agents in the country; to watch out for dirty manipulative words to oust the current government.

Source: Government Communications Unit

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