SOGAVARE TO SEEK MEETING WITH NEW AUSSIE LEADER

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HONIARA, Solomon Islands (SIBC, Dec. 6) – Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare is planning to invite his new Australian counterpart, Kevin Rudd, and his Parliamentary Secretary for the Pacific, Duncan Kerr, to Honiara for face-to-face dialogue to mend Solomon Islands’ strained relationship with Australia.

Mr. Sogavare announced the intention at a reception the government hosted for the business houses in Honiara yesterday.

Prime Minister Sogavare said the government would be putting forward an invitation for Mr. Rudd and Mr. Kerr to come into the country to discuss issues affecting Solomon Islands and Australia.

Sogavare said, "I will want to see Kevin Rudd come into this country so that we could talk face-to-face with the issues that affect our countries. And I would like to see all the issues that clouding over relationship to be dealt with as quickly as possible so we can move on with our lives and get on with the business of development."

Prime Minister Sogavare said the Solomon Islands government appreciated the appointment of Mr. Kerr as Parliamentary Secretary for the Pacific.

Mr. Sogavare said Mr. Kerr’s comments on the Canberra/Honiara relationship as reported by the media spoke well of him as a person who fully understood the feelings and thinking of the Solomon Islands government.

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