Australia’s Foreign Minister Senator Bob Carr visited RAMSI on 19 August for a briefing by RAMSI Special Coordinator Nicholas Coppel and other personnel before inspecting RAMSI’s facilities.
Senator Carr said it was his expectation that RAMSI’s military component would withdraw in the second half of 2013.
Senator Carr also reaffirmed Australia’s commitment to the next phase of RAMSI, which will focus on building the capacity of the local police force for at least the next four years.
“RAMSI’s police function is going to continue a long time after the military function is phased out” Senator Carr said.
“Australia is going to be here to help Solomon Islands and its people for as long as they need our help.”
Senator Carr’s visit was his first to RAMSI.
“It has been an unforgettable experience for me as foreign minister to travel through Solomons, to speak to local people and to be reminded of a great regional effort directed at capacity building, stability and peacekeeping.”
“I think wherever people are talking about peacekeeping in the world they’ll be talking about the regional experience here in Solomons” Senator Carr said.