RAMSI exit ‘a long time coming’: Australian Government

Australian Defence Minister Marise Payne

Australian Defence Minister Marise Payne

Australian Defence Marise Payne believes the Solomon Islands is “in the right place” to take over after the exit of RAMSI in June.

Speaking on ABC radio in Australia this morning, Australian Defence Minister Marise Payne said the institutions developed during RAMSI’s time were ready to take over.

She described the RAMSI exit as “a long time coming”.

“We have worked closely with the Solomon Islands Government and partners in the region,” Senator Pain said.

“And I think the plans that are in place and the institutions that have developed during that time in the Solomon Islands are the right way to take it from here.

“It’s been a very complex and interesting relationship as it has progressed.”

The 15-country Australian-led Regional Assistance Mission to the Solomon Islands (RAMSI) has been in the country since the ethnic tensions in 2003.

In 2013 RAMSI’s military operation wound down to a police focus, and a Federal Police presence will remain in the Solomons following the formal exit in June.

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