NEW ZEALAND WILL CONSIDER PEACEKEEPING ROLE IN SOLOMONS

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WELLINGTON, New Zealand (June 27, 2000 – Radio Australia)---New Zealand's Foreign Minister, Phil Goff, says his country will consider taking part in peacekeeping operations in the Solomon Islands if there is a genuine desire for peace between the warring factions.

Mr. Goff made the announcement during a news conference in Wellington.

It was made as talks to end the political crisis in the Solomon Islands began aboard the Australian navy ship HMAS Tobruk, anchored off Honiara, but without a representative from the Malaita Eagles Force.

The Malaita Eagle Force continues to battle the Isatabu Freedom Movement for dominance on the main island of Guadalcanal, where ethnic tensions continue over jobs, power and land rights.

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

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