BOUGAINVILLE PEACE TALKS START AGAIN NEXT MONTH

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CANBERRA, Australia (September 16, 1997 - PACNEWS)---The next round of Bougainville peace talks will take place in New Zealand, starting the first week of October.

Originally, the talks were to begin on Wednesday, but this conflicted with the South Pacific Forum meeting in the Cook Islands and other engagements for New Zealand Foreign Minister Don McKinnon.

McKinnon is hosting the peace talks, which again will be held at the Burnham military base near Christchurch.

The Papua New Guinea government will be represented at the peace negotiations for the first time.

The other representatives will be from the PNG government-backed Bougainville Transitional Government, the secessionist Bougainville Interim Government, and the Bougainville Revolutionary Army.

The early October round of talks are expected to set a date and venue for a top-level meeting between PNG Prime Minister Bill Skate and the secessionist leader, Francis Ona.

That meeting is expected to take place in either New Zealand or Fiji, during late October or early November.

Also on the agenda for next month's Camp Burnham talks are issues relating to a cease-fire agreement and the deployment of a peace-keeping force on Bougainville.

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