PNG FOREIGN MINISTER UPBEAT ON SOLOMONS RECOVERY

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SUVA, Fiji (The National, Aug. 7) – Foreign Affairs Minister
Rabbie Namaliu has expressed confidence that the rule of law would return to the
troubled Solomon Islands soon following the deployment of the Australian-led
intervention force. 

Following talks with troubled Solomon Islands Prime Minister
Allan Kemakeza in Honiara this week, Namaliu was confident economic recovery for
the island would be within a year or so.

"I am quite satisfied with the comprehensive discussions I
had with Sir Allan, Foreign Minister Laurie Chan and Nick Warner, the
coordinator for the regional assistance mission to Solomon Islands. Warner said
that the Solomons is making a decisive turn away from its decay and destruction
that had been experienced over the past four years, and is now beginning the new
journey to its recovery, reconstruction and peace," he said.

Namaliu was speaking in Gizo from the Melanesian Spearhead Group
(MSG) Foreign Minister's meeting, which was the forerunner to the leaders'
meeting, which ends on Friday.

Before that Namaliu met with Chan for discussions on the mission
there in terms of reforms to institutions that have been rendered ineffective
during years of ethnic tension, assistance to various economic sectors,
developmental issues, and more importantly, the role and ownership of such
priorities.

"I can understand the reason for the jubilant and receptive
mood in which the intervention force were received by the people of Solomon
Islands. I agree with Chan that the people of Solomon Islands and their
Government need this regional intervention in order for the country to get back
on its own feet," he said.

"The arrival of the intervention force has led to renewed
air of security, peace and safety. Within the first seven days, people from
different islands have been able to gather together in public places for the
first time in four years without fear of intimidation of harassment. Abandoned
business premises and new developments abandoned during the ethnic crisis are
being re-opened, undergoing completion or resuming normal commercial
activities."

"I am also satisfied that the Government of Solomon
Islands, through the Prime Minister and his Ministers are in the process of
setting priorities and programs to which resources provided by the donor
governments, including Australia, New Zealand and others, will be
directed," said the Minister.

August 7, 2003

The National: www.thenational.com.pg/ 

 

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