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New Zealand unveils continued commitment to Solomon Islands

(Xinhua)

16:06, September 06, 2011

AUCKLAND, New Zealand, Sept. 6 (Xinhua) -- New Zealand Tuesday pledged to continue its assistance to the Solomon Islands with a commitment of up to 25 million NZ dollars (20.73 million U.S. dollars) for infrastructure projects in the troubled Pacific island nation.

New Zealand Foreign Minister Murray McCully and Solomon Islands Foreign Minister Peter Shanel Agovaka signed a Joint Commitment for Development, setting out New Zealand support for sustainable economic development in the Solomon Islands.

The agreement also set out the joint accountabilities and responsibilities for the delivery and management of the aid program in the Solomon Islands as the Regional Assistance Mission to the Solomon Islands (RAMSI) winds down.

The agreement would focus on improving critical transport infrastructure, fisheries development, improving the business environment, education, policing, law and justice.

Fifteen Pacific Islands Forum nations contributed to RAMSI when it was established in 2003 at the request of the Solomon Islands government to stop the nation descending into chaos after years of ethnic tensions and a coup in 2000.

The Solomon Islands foreign minister is in Auckland for the 42nd Pacific Islands Forum, being chaired by New Zealand Prime Minister John Key, from Sept. 6 to 9.

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