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RAMSI Tops Bilateral Agenda Between Fiji Australia

'RAMSI' Tops Bilateral Agenda Between Fiji And Australia

23rd October, 2006

RAMSI (Regional Assistance Mission to Solomon Islands) was one of the main topics of discussion in the bilateral discussion between Fiji’s Prime Minister, Laisenia Qarase and his Australian counterpart, John Howard.

According to Mr. Qarase, the two Leaders discussed the difficulties and possible ways of overcoming the current impasse between Australia, PNG and Solomon Islands by the end of tomorrow.

“In the meeting tomorrow at the retreat in particular we discussed RAMSI and the difficulties that there are and how we might be able to discuss some of the issues and hopefully at the end of the day tomorrow we will have an outcome that is satisfactory to all.” he said.

Mr. Qarase confirmed in a press conference this evening (23/10) that the MSG and some Pacific Leaders agree that RAMSI is good for the Pacific.

“In my consultation with members of the MSG group and also some of the Pacific leaders that I have talked to...all of us agreed that RAMSI must continue since it is a regional project - if it is good for the Solomons Islands then it is good for the region and we should try and do whatever we can to continue that project.”

Should a situation arise, then there will be bilateral issues between Australia and Solomons, Mr. Qarase told members of media.

“In this case that need to be separated from what is the regional issues there and the Regional issue is RAMSI and we need to focus on that.”

Mr. Qarase who will chair the 37th Pacific Islands Forum Leaders Meeting that officially begins tomorrow, is optimistic that the outcome that will be satisfactory to all.

-End-

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