FOURTH ROUND OF BOUGAINVILLE TALKS ALLOWS FOR FEEDBACK

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PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (May 31, 2000 – The National)---Bougainville Affairs Minister Sir Michael Somare said that this week's round of talks would be an opportunity for all parties to brief each other on the people's reactions and views on the Loloata Understanding.

"It is also an opportunity to take stock of the peace process and to move ahead on the specific issues contained in the Loloata Understanding," he said.

Sir Michael also renewed calls for more sensitivity and mutual understanding between the two parties when dealing with the more substantive issues this week.

"There are still a lot of complex and sensitive matters that need to be discussed. There must be more mutual understanding and patience from both parties," he said.

Sir Michael also requested the media to exercise similar sensitivity with its reporting on the issue.

"Misreporting must be discouraged as it may disrupt the current talks, and derail the good efforts already achieved by all parties so far," he said.

Sir Michael said the 30-strong Bougainville delegation arrived in Port Moresby ahead of schedule. He said he had an informal meeting on Monday night with UN Ambassador Noel Sinclair, Bougainville People's Congress President Joseph Kabui, Bougainville Governor John Momis, and Mr. Kabui's deputies.

The meeting, which is part of the fourth round of talks, will mainly be concerned with greater autonomy and an independence referendum for Bougainville.

The meeting, scheduled to start yesterday, was put off until today to allow for the Cabinet to be briefed.

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

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