- Title: USA: Australia and the Solomon Islands hold bilateral talks at the United Nations
- Date: 22nd September 2006
- Summary: (BN17) UNITED NATIONS (SEPTEMBER 21, 2006) (AGENCY POOL) UNITED NATIONS BUILDING VARIOUS OF AUSTRALIAN FOREIGN MINISTER ALEXANDER DOWNER MEETING WITH THE SOLOMON ISLAND'S FOREIGN MINISTER, PATTISON OTI
- Embargoed: 7th October 2006 13:00
- Location: Usa
- Country: USA
- Reuters ID: LVAC7WFQKXSD5PENYYGJIBIQ9LBR
- Story Text: Australia's Foreign Minister Alexander Downer met with his counterpart of the Solomon Islands, Pattison Oti at the United Nations on Thursday (September 21).
The meeting comes in the wake of a row that recently broke out between the two countries over the expulsion of Canberra's top diplomat. Solomons' Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare accused Canberra of diplomatic bullying.
And on Thursday (September 21) the Solomon Islands appointed Australian lawyer Julian Moti to be its Attorney-General, a move that the Australian government also objects to.
Since 2003, Australia has led a Pacific-wide aid mission to stamp out corruption and restore security in the Solomons after the country came close to collapse due to ethnic violence and mismanagement.
Nearly 400 troops and an extra 120 police from Australia, New Zealand, Tonga and Papua New Guinea were rushed to the Solomons after national elections sparked riots in April which left the Chinatown of the capital, Honiara, in ruins.
But relations with Australia have cooled since Sogavare expelled Canberra's ambassador, Patrick Cole, accusing him of undermining a government-ordered inquiry into the April riots.
Australian Prime Minister John Howard last week said Canberra wanted value for its A$840 million ($631USD) four-year aid package for the Solomons, including a A$72 million in humanitarian aid this year.
In the wake of the row, Sogavare faces a no-confidence vote when the Solomons parliament resumes in a week.
- Copyright Holder: POOL (CAN SELL)
- Copyright Notice: (c) Copyright Thomson Reuters 2011. Open For Restrictions - http://about.reuters.com/fulllegal.asp
- Usage Terms/Restrictions: None