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Navy Handover Off The Solomons

PACC 284 /00 Monday, 9 October, 2000

NAVY HANDOVER OFF THE SOLOMONS

The Minister for Defence, John Moore, announced today that the Australian guided missile frigate HMAS SYDNEY is to relieve HMAS NEWCASTLE in support of peace talks in the Solomon Islands.

The frigate departed Sydney on October 7 and will relieve NEWCASTLE on October 11. NEWCASTLE will return to Sydney on October 15

During the deployment SYDNEY will provide a neutral and secure venue for ongoing peace talks between the rival factions in the Solomons.

"The ship will provide a stabilising presence and continue to promote the return to peace in the islands" Mr Moore said.

"Australia has provided strong support to the Solomon Islands peace process by the previous deployments of MANOORA, TOBRUK and NEWCASTLE. The arrival of SYDNEY will continue this process and provide a timely reminder for all parties concerned of Australia's hope that they can resolve their differences in a peaceful and co-operative manner."

ENDS

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