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MSG Leaders Condemn The Raid on Solomon Is

MSG Leaders Condemn The Raid on Solomon Islands Prime Minister's Office.

Westin Hotel, Nadi, Fiji. October 22 2006.

Leaders of the Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG) of countries strongly condemn the actions taken by the Australian members of the Participating Police Force (PPF) operating in the Solomon Islands in the raid conducted on Friday October 20, 2006, which resulted in the breaking down of a door and removal of equipment from the Office of the Prime Minister of Solomon Islands.

During their Special Summit held on Sunday October 22 2006 in Nadi, Fiji, the MSG Leaders expressed their condemnation of the actions by the Australian Members of the PPF.

According to the briefing provided by the Prime Minister of Solomon Islands to MSG Leaders, Australian PPF members broke down a door that forms part of the Prime Minister's Office and removed working equipment. This came a day after Prime Minister Sogavare had left Honiara for Nadi to attend the MSG and PIF Leaders Summits.

The Leaders described the actions by Australian Members of PPF, as provocative, uncalled for, and unnecessary. Proper courtesies and protocols could have been observed.

"These actions are certainly a serious violation of Solomon Islands territorial sovereignty and integrity, and are inconsistent with the UN Charter of the Respect for the Principles of Sovereignty".

The MSG Leaders further noted that: "These actions are also inconsistent with the Declaration on Solomon Islands issued by the 34th Pacific Islands Forum meeting in Auckland, New Zealand in 2004." In that declaration, Forum Leaders noted that "in responding to the request of the Government of the Solomon Islands, Forum members would at all times be acting to reinforce Solomon Islands Sovereignty and in accordance with Solomon Island laws."

The MSG Leaders expressed concerns that the actions of certain PPF officers have brought disrespect to the operations of RAMSI in Solomon Islands and tainted the good image and credibility of RAMSI.

The MSG Leaders will also raise this at the Pacific Islands Forum Meeting in Nadi, Fiji.

The above statement is signed by:

Grand Chief Rt. Hon. Sir Michael Somare, Prime Minister of the Independent State of Papua New Guinea, Hon. Manasseh Sogavare, Prime Minister of Solomon Islands, Hon. Ham Lini Vanuarora, Prime Minister of the Republic of Vanuatu. Laisenia Qarase, Prime Minister of Fiji.

ENDS

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