NEW ZEALAND WARNS CITIZENS NOT TO TRAVEL TO SOLOMON ISLANDS

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WELLINGTON, New Zealand (December 27, 2000 – Radio Australia)---The New Zealand government has revised its advice on travel to the Solomon Islands and now is calling on its citizens to defer all vacation and non-essential business travel to the Pacific island nation.

For citizens already in the Solomons, New Zealand's Ministry of Foreign Affairs also said that those planning to travel outside of Honiara are advised to contact the New Zealand high commission about the current security situation prior to traveling to rural areas.

Wellington's advisory was issued as the Solomon Islands' national carrier, Solomon Airlines, announced that it lost AUS$ 4 million dollars (US$ 2.2 million) this year, primarily as a result of the ethnic conflict between Guadalcanal’s Isatabu Freedom Fighters and the Malaita Eagle Force over land rights and jobs.

A peace accord now is in effect.

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

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