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By Robert L. Iroga

HONIARA, Solomon Islands (Solomon Star, Feb. 22) – Solomon Islands Prime Minister Allan Kemakeza and his Papua New Guinea counterpart, Michael Somare, will sign treaty arrangements between the two Melanesian countries in Port Moresby on Friday.

The Prime Minister’s Office said Kemakeza and his delegation would leave the country on Friday and return next week.

Kemakeza, who left to open the Western Leaders Summit today, returns tomorrow before jetting out to Port Moresby.

PNG High Commissioner Parai Tamei said the agreements would further strengthen the ties between the people and cultures of the two countries. He said it should also further consolidate the two countries - something that has never happened before.

"I am excited about this," Mr Tamei told the Solomon Star yesterday.

The treaty agreement is the umbrella, which covers cooperation between the two countries in many other different fields.

Acting PNG Prime Minister Namaliu last week presented to Parliament the treaty arrangements between Papua New Guinea and Solomon Islands. The treaties and agreements are the:

Namaliu said the treaty was the principal document that allowed both countries to conduct bilateral relations with respect to each other’s laws, government policies, traditions and international commitments.

The treaty covers areas of general cooperation such as traditional ties, conduct of relations, human resource development, regional and international cooperation, trade and investment, broader cooperation, development and natural resources, mutual assistance in criminal matters and other general provisions.

The framework treaty was signed by then Prime Minister Sir Julius Chan and then Deputy Prime Minister of Solomon Islands Dennis Lulei in 1995.

However, because both sides had not yet ratified the treaty, the Solomon Islands Government proposed that the treaty be resigned.

The treaty was reviewed and signed by both countries in July last year.

February 23, 2005

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