Honiara Canberra seal rapid assistance deal

Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare and his Australian counterpart Malcom Turnbull have sealed a deal to enable Australia deploy rapid assistance in the event of a disaster or civil unrest.

Yesterday’s Canberra signing means Australian defence, civilian and civilian personnel can be deployed in emergency situations, providing security or humanitarian assistance at the Solomon Islands Government’s request.

Radio Australia reported, the signing comes soon after the end of the Australian-led Regional Assistance Mission to Solomon Islands, RAMSI.

It said, while most Solomon Islanders agree RAMSI was a success, many were also nervous about their country’s future.

The new security treaty is one of a number of measures aimed at assuring the Solomon Islands Government and its people that while RAMSI has ended, Australian assistance will continue.

Mr Turnbull said the Australian Government was providing a package of post-RAMSI assistance to help maintain security and stability worth 141- million over four years.

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