The Australian Minister for Justice, Michael Keenan, has reaffirmed Australia and RAMSI’s commitment to supporting the Royal Solomon Islands Police Force (RSIPF) at the conclusion of a two-day visit to the Solomons.
Mr Keenan also offered his condolences to the government and people of Solomon Islands for the loss of life and damage to property and infrastructure during the April floods.
Mr Keenan said he had discussed the strong partnership between Solomon Islands and Australia in his meetings with the Solomon Islands Prime Minister the Hon. Gordon Darcy Lilo and other members of the government.
“My visit was to reaffirm Australia’s strong support for Solomon Islands, particularly at this difficult time as Solomon Islands recovers from the flood crisis,” Mr Keenan said.
“Solomon Islands and Australia are not just good neighbours, we are great friends. Australia continues to stand with Solomon Islands.
“I am particularly impressed with the cooperation and partnership between the RAMSI Participating Police Force and their counterparts in RSIPF over the past decade.
“They worked side-by-side responding to the recent flood, conducting high visibility joint patrols to ensure security in the wake of the disaster,” Mr Keenan said.
Australia has committed $500 million to the operations of RAMSI from 2013-2017.
RAMSI is currently working in partnership with the RSIPF to strengthen the police across a range of areas – including training and leadership, logistics and mobility, policy, governance, infrastructure and corporate support.
“I am encouraged by the improvements in recent years to the capacity and ability of the RSIPF to deliver security for Solomon Islands. For example, the RSIPF was able to quickly deal with an unfortunate disturbance in east Honiara last month. The RSIPF brought the situation under control and arrested the key suspects,” Mr Keenan said.
Mr Keenan also discussed a range of other issues with Prime Minister Lilo, including the upcoming national elections and the government’s decision to support the limited rearmament of the RSIPF.