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Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Prime Minister Sogavare boycotts upcoming Pacific Forum Leaders Meeting in Tonga

Solomon Islands Prime Minister Manessah Sogavare, has decided to boycott this year's Pacific Leaders meeting, to be held in Tonga next week.

Radio Australia's Pacific correspondent, Campbell Cooney, reports the boycott is in protest of a Pacific Islands Forum-run review which found the RAMSI assistance mission was a positive influence in the country.

The review of RAMSI was demanded last year by Mr Sogavare.

Leaked copies show it has found RAMSI has been, and still, a positive influence in Solomon Islands on law and order and governance, and should continue.

Mr Sogavare's secretary, Rence Sore, was quoted as saying that in retaliation the PM will boycott next week's Pacific Leader's meeting in Tonga.

Solomon Islands parliamentary opposition leader, Fred Fono, says as the other regional leaders have given Mr Sogavare their support for a review, he owes it to tell them why he's unhappy.

He says any leader in his right mind should attend the Pacific forum to explain clearly the position of the government.

The Solomon Islands Government is to review the legislation which allows RAMSI to operate.

RAMSI began operations in 2003, after being invited to the country by the then government.
Meanwhile, Mr Sogavare told SIBC News after the swearing of the new Minister for Justice and Legal Affairs Francis Zama is not attending the Pacific forum because it comes at an awkward time of his travel plans.

Source: SIBC

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