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Monday, March 03, 2008

Australia Prime Minister Kevin Rudd to visit Solomon Islands

Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd will be coming to Honiara Friday this week where he will meet his Solomon Islands counterpart, Dr Derek Sikua as well as other senior ministers.

Rudd will be accompanied by the Australian Parliamentary Secretary for Pacific Islands Affairs Duncan Kerr, and the Parliamentary Secretary for International Development Assistance, Bob McMullan.

Rudd said Australia plays a leading role in the reconstruction and nation- building work of the Regional Assistance Mission to Solomon Islands.

He said he is committed to using Australia's bilateral aid program to assist with the country’s rural development and infrastructure challenges.

Rudd said he was pleased to welcome Dr Sikua to Canberra in January this year and looks forward to continuing discussions on maximizing the effectiveness of Australia’s contribution to development challenges in Solomon Islands.

The Australian prime minister will on Wednesday visit Papua New Guinea prime minister Sir Michael Somare before coming over to Honiara.

Bilateral talks between Rudd and Sir Michael will centre on trade, investment, defence and development assistance.

Source: SIBC

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