ISLAND LEADERS CALL FOR AID COORDINATION

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Tonga, Samoa raise topic with Australian Foreign Minister

MELBOURNE, Australia (Radio Australia, June 4, 2009) – Leaders in Tonga and Samoa have discussed with Australia the need for better co-ordination between countries that provide aid to the Pacific.

Linda Mottram reports that the topic was raised in meetings with visiting Australian Foreign Minister Stephen Smith.

Mr. Smith says it was suggested to him the issue should be discussed when the Pacific Islands Forum holds talks after its approaching leaders' meeting with other countries and institutions.

Smith told Radio Australia a calm look at the issue is needed - and he will raise it with Prime Minister Kevin Rudd.

"We are worried that we haven't got the coordination of that as well as we could," he said.

"And that's one of the possible suggestions that's been made, for the forum to consider in its post-forum dialogue."

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