Tuesday, 22 January 2008 4:59 PM

Prime Minister Sikua Holds Talks with PNG's Sir Michael Somare

Solomon Islands Prime Minister, Hon. Derek Sikua, has concluded official talks with his Papua New Guinea Counterpart, Sir Michael Somare, in Port Moresby yesterday.

Hon. Sikua described the talks as "very cordial and fruitful" during which the two leaders discussed important issues affecting the two neighboring countries.

The top leader said the current visit to a number of island countries is a way to mend relations with Pacific Islands forum countries.

"This is especially so with Australia whose relations with Solomon Islands were strained by the last government," he said.

Prime Minister Sikua said the visit is in line with the current government's foreign policy.

The discussions with the PNG leader covered areas including RAMSI, of which PNG is a contributor in terms of manpower.

Papua New Guinea provides soldiers and police personnel to RAMSI.

Also during Monday's meeting, Dr. Sikua conveyed the Solomon Islands government's and peoples' gratitude to the government and people of Papua New Guinea for its bilateral assistance to Solomon Islands.

Prime Minister Sikua said he had also had the opportunity to propose some new initiatives.

Dr. Sikua said the PNG Prime Minister, Sir Michael Somare, was very receptive during their discussions.

The issue of Moti was never discussed between the two Melanesian leaders in their meeting yesterday.

The Prime Minister and his delegation travel next to Australia this morning.

In Australia, Hon. Sikua will meet his Australian counterpart, Kevin Rudd, tomorrow.