NEW ZEALAND LIKELY TO HOST NEW BOUGAINVILLE

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PEACE TALKS

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (August 27, 1997 - PACNEWS)---New Zealand has formally agreed to host a second round of peace talks between Bougainville leaders and the Papua New Guinea government, but meeting details remain to be resolved.

New Zealand Foreign Minister Don McKinnon informed PNG Prime Minister Bill Skate of the decision during private talks in Port Moresby this morning.

Skate told McKinnon, however, that he wanted certain issues resolved before New Zealand formally announces the offer.

New Zealand hosted the first round of peace talks between rebel and pro-PNG government leaders in Burnham Army Camp outside Christchurch last month.

Meantime, secessionist political leader Francis Ona says he will attend the next round of talks, now tentatively scheduled for September and October. If the meeting takes place, it will be the first time for Ona to attend any peace talks since the Bougainville crisis began nine years ago.

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