Thursday, 25 October 2007 2:39 PM

Gov't Appreciates Forum's Understanding on Review

The Pacific Islands forum has taken note of the intention of the Solomon Islands government to review the Facilitation of the International Assistance Act.

The Facilitation Act was established prior to the intervention in 2003 to legalize the operation of the Australian-led Regional Assistance Mission to Solomon Islands (RAMSI).

The Foreign Affairs Minister, Patterson Oti, stated in a press conference yesterday afternoon that forum leaders took note of the "intention of the review as the power to do so fell within the prerogative of the Solomon Islands parliament and government."

"The Solomon Islands government appreciates the position of the forum on the review and that for Solomon Islands is a way forward that the forum had taken note of its intention to review that Act," said Oti.

The Foreign Minister said he had a constructive dialogue with the New Zealand Prime Minister, Helen Clark, on the RAMSI review in which she promised her country's assistance should it be needed.

The Foreign Affairs Minister said the review, which should commence on the 28th of the month, would be inline with the resolutions passed by parliament during its recent sitting and the Special Coordinator of RAMSI, Tim George, had been informed of the review process which would include a joint workshop for all the parliamentarians.

Mr Oti said the review agenda would be fully explained to the people of Solomon Islands through an extensive nationwide awareness programme through appropriate avenues.

He said as the Minister for Foreign Affairs he would be engaged in a comprehensive consultation with his counterparts of the RAMSI-participating countries, informing them on the provisions of the FIAA that the Solomon Islands government and people wanted to review.

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