RAMSI TO STAY IN SOLOMONS ‘AS LONG AS NEEDED’

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Exit strategy yet to be decided

By Graeme Wilson HONIARA, Solomon Islands (Solomon Star, Oct. 18, 2010) - Special Coordinator to the Regional Assistance Mission to Solomon Islands (RAMSI) Graem Wilson says RAMSI’s exit strategy needs more work and consultation.

He was speaking at the celebrations of RAMSI’s seven-year presence in the country on Saturday night.

He said RAMSI is committed to its work in Solomon Islands and will leave the shores of this country once all the work is done with much satisfaction.

"RAMSI has always said that we will be here for as long as we are welcome and until the job we came to do has been completed.

"That commitment remains. At the same time, it is important to remember that we need to plan for the day when our job is indeed done," he said.

He pointed out that the transitional period needs to be undertaken in consultation with the government.

"That transitional planning will take place in close consultation with the Solomon Islands Government in the context of the Solomon Islands RAMSI Partnership Framework. There is much work still to be done under that Framework," he said.

He pointed out that he is prepared to discuss with the Danny Philip led government on the exit strategy.

"I am looking forward to discussing with the new Government how we can work together to make sure that this transition is as smooth as possible and that the drawing down of RAMSI over the coming years occurs in parallel with capacity development and is done in a way that everyone is comfortable with and that seeks to ensure sustainable outcomes," he said.

Since coming into power Prime Minister Danny Philip said RAMSI will be here for not so long.

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