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PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (February 10, 1999 - Post-Courier)---Minister for State Assisting the Prime Minister, Sam Akoitai, yesterday confirmed that arrangements were now being made for the planned leaders' meeting to be held on Nissan Island, off Bougainville this Sunday.

"Other options were considered earlier, but all leaders now believe it is important for the meeting to take place on Bougainville, rather than outside," Mr. Akoitai said.

"The national Members of Parliament for Bougainville, Joseph Kabui, Gerard Sinato, and Sam Kauona and relevant support officials from the National Government and administration on Bougainville will attend the meeting.''

Mr. Akoitai explained that while substantial progress was made during 1998 in the peace process, much more remains to be done this year to consolidate and build lasting peace.

Development of the Bougainville Reconciliation Government, policing, disposal of weapons, building the capacity of the administration on Bougainville, and political issues are among the main topics which the Leaders Meeting will focus on.

"We need a timetable for dealing with these and other key issues over the next nine months. I am looking forward to a productive meeting. I want real progress to be made on Bougainville this year,'' he said.

For additional reports from The Post-Courier, go to PACIFIC ISLANDS REPORT News/Information Links: Newspapers/The Post-Courier (Papua New Guinea).

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