By Jack Lapauve Jr – EMTV News, Port Moresby
The 26th Australia-Papua New Guinea Ministerial Forum was held in Brisbane and was co-chaired by Australian Minister for Foreign Affairs, Julie Bishop and PNG Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Rimbink Pato.
Four other senior key ministers in the Government were also present to attend. Six key agendas were discussed and both countries reaffirmed the continuity in supporting each other. Among them are the Defence Cooperation Program, APEC cooperation, immigration and people to people links.
Noting the bilateral relationship’s transition to a mature economic, security and strategic partnership, the Ministers welcomed the new framework of bilateral meetings featuring the Secretary-level Economic Cooperation Dialogue and Bilateral Security Dialogue.
The Ministers welcomed Papua New Guinea’s policy, security and logistics preparations for APEC, and Papua New Guinea’s hosting of early APEC Senior Officials and Ministerial meetings.
Australia also threw in its support for Papua New Guinea’s security preparations for APEC meetings throughout the year, and the opportunity to build on the APEC experience to deepen security cooperation into the future. Again the 26th Australia PNG Ministerial Forum concluded with the signing of a communique by Ministers Pato and Bishop. The forum was held in Brisbane last Friday.