PRESIDENT OF BOUGAINVILLE CONGRESS SETS NO TIME LIMIT FOR INDEPENDENCE

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PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (June 29, 1999 - Radio Australia)---The President of the Bougainville Congress, Joseph Kabui, says independence for the island is still the ultimate goal, but adds that political leaders have no time frame in mind.

The Congress - Bougainville's new parliament - was established last month, following peace talks.

In his first interview with foreign media representatives since his appointment, Mr. Kabui said there is now a great deal more trust and energy in the peace process following the setting up of the Congress.

Mr. Kabui also said the Congress can work with whatever government is in power in Port Moresby.

"We will use that unity that we have now achieved as our foundation, as our basis to start up a new relationship with whatever government comes in.

"But we'll try and reach some kind of an agreement with the Bill Skate government and, hopefully, whatever agreement we can come up with is an agreement that the incoming government, too, must be bound to pursue," Mr. Kabui emphasized.

For additional reports from Radio Australia, go to PACIFIC ISLANDS REPORT News/Information Links: Radio/TV News/Radio Australia.

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