Malcolm Turnbull

PM hails Solomon Islands rescue mission

Malcolm Turnbull has spoken of the success of an Australian-led mission in the Solomon Islands. (AAP)

Malcolm Turnbull is hosting his Solomon Islands counterpart in Canberra on Monday, two months after the end of a 14-year Australian-led rescue mission.

Malcolm Turnbull has trumpeted the success an Australian-led rescue mission which prevented the Solomon Islands from becoming a failed state.

The prime minister is hosting his Solomon Islands counterpart Manasseh Sogavare in Canberra.

Rampaging violence, lawlessness, and ethnic tensions were tearing apart the Solomon Islands at the turn of the century.

The Australian-led Regional Assistance Mission to the Solomon Islands (RAMSI) began in 2003, involved 15 countries, and came to an end in June.

At the time bankrupt government, presiding over a tanked economy, was unable to keep open schools and hospitals while corruption was rife among politicians and the police force

"It was a calculated response to a dire situation," Mr Turnbull told parliament.

Intervention in another state, even by invitation, is never to be taken lightly, but the Howard government saw fit to help the Pacific island nation take back control and restore the rule of law.

Mr Turnbull said the Solomon Islands of 2017 was a very different country with a low crime rate, high-quality police force, bustling markets, children back at school and a stable economy.

He acknowledged the strong popular support of RAMSI among locals as well as the sacrifices of four Australians who lost their lives along with a Vanuatu and Niue police officer during the mission.

Over the years 7200 Australian military personnel and more than 1700 Australian Federal Police were involved in the mission.

A gun amnesty recovered more than 3700 illegal weapons.

Forty-four unarmed Australian Federal Police continue to mentor Solomon Island officers as part of a $141 million package over four years.

Mr Turnbull and Mr Sogavare signed a bilateral security agreement on Monday which will enable Australian defence, police and civilian personnel to deploy to the Solomon Islands if requested for emergency or humanitarian situations.

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