SOLOMONS TO SETTLE ITS UNIVERSITY OF THE SOUTH

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PACIFIC DEBT

HONIARA, Solomon Islands (December 8, 1997 - PACNEWS)---The Solomon Islands Minister of Education, Rodney Mani, says the Honiara government will settle its $7 million debt with the University of the South Pacific by the middle of next year.

Mani said he will provide the Cabinet with a report next week that will include a specific schedule for paying the debt, which has been accumulating since 1995.

Had the former Mamaloni government been genuine with its stand on the importance of education to the country's development, he noted, it would never have allowed the debt to the USP to accumulate.

Despite financial constraints, the Solomon Islands government will ensure the country's USP debt is settled by next June, Mani said.

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