Thursday, 26 April 2012 9:13 AM

RAMSI Exit a Priority Discussion

Australia's Defence Minister Stephen Smith says an exit plan is being developed for the defence contingent of the Regional Assistance Mission to Solomon Islands.

Mr Smith is in Honiara and met the Solomons Prime Minister, Gordon Darcy Lilo, where the issue was discussed.

Mr Smith says he has also had discussions with the PNG and New Zealand governments who also have defence personnel serving with RAMSI.

He has told Radio Australia's Pacific Beat the issue will be further discussed next month.

"This is something of course, which is not just a conversation between Australia and Solomon Islands," he said.

"We need to do it formally through the RAMSI Framework and in terms of defence or a military contribution as I said, the Pacific Island countries who make that contribution are Australia, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea and a small number from Tonga."

RAMSI was created in 2003 in response to a request for international aid by the governor-general of the Solomon Islands.

The military arm of RAMSI is the fourth level of security in Solomon Islands.

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