RAMSI Special Coordinator, Tim George, today congratulated the Hon. Derek Sikua on his election as Prime Minister and pledged to work closely with the new government.

"RAMSI stands ready to work with the new government in a spirit of true partnership," Mr. George said.

Mr. George said RAMSI shared Prime Minister Sikua's vision of a nation at peace with itself.

"We too believe that Solomon Islands has a bright future and pledge to work closely with the new government to ensure this can be realised."

However, Solomon Islands still faces many challenges as a nation and there is much hard work to be done, the Special Coordinator said.

Those challenges include helping the economy to grow, fostering reconciliation and peace between various communities, and restoring the people's faith in government through a more open and transparent system, as well as working to get rid of corruption he said.

"RAMSI looks forward to playing the appropriate role in supporting the new government's efforts to deal with these challenges."

Mr. George welcomed the Prime Minister's invitation to dialogue.

"I look forward to meeting with Prime Minister Sikua and his Ministers to learn more about their plans and priorities."

RAMSI is committed to working with the new government in support of its development priorities, and to continue RAMSI's work of helping to foster a peaceful, well-governed and prosperous Solomon Islands.

"RAMSI is here to help as a genuine partner to the people and government of Solomon Islands," he said.

Mr. George said he also wished to congratulate all members of the Solomon Islands Police Force and RAMSI's security forces that had supported the SIPF.

"Over the past six weeks these men and women displayed great professionalism and dedication, working long, hard hours to make sure that there was a safe and secure environment for Solomon Islands' democratic processes to proceed unhindered."

"The nation should be proud of the peaceful transition of power that has just occurred. This is the test of a true democracy."