'RAMSI' Tops Bilateral Agenda Between Fiji And Australia
23rd October, 2006
RAMSI (Regional Assistance Mission to Solomon Islands) was one of the main topics of discussion in the bilateral
discussion between Fiji’s Prime Minister, Laisenia Qarase and his Australian counterpart, John Howard.
According to Mr. Qarase, the two Leaders discussed the difficulties and possible ways of overcoming the current impasse
between Australia, PNG and Solomon Islands by the end of tomorrow.
“In the meeting tomorrow at the retreat in particular we discussed RAMSI and the difficulties that there are and how we
might be able to discuss some of the issues and hopefully at the end of the day tomorrow we will have an outcome that is
satisfactory to all.” he said.
Mr. Qarase confirmed in a press conference this evening (23/10) that the MSG and some Pacific Leaders agree that RAMSI
is good for the Pacific.
“In my consultation with members of the MSG group and also some of the Pacific leaders that I have talked to...all of us
agreed that RAMSI must continue since it is a regional project - if it is good for the Solomons Islands then it is good
for the region and we should try and do whatever we can to continue that project.”
Should a situation arise, then there will be bilateral issues between Australia and Solomons, Mr. Qarase told members of
“In this case that need to be separated from what is the regional issues there and the Regional issue is RAMSI and we
need to focus on that.”
Mr. Qarase who will chair the 37th Pacific Islands Forum Leaders Meeting that officially begins tomorrow, is optimistic
that the outcome that will be satisfactory to all.