Australian Opposition Leader Visits PNG

by Delly Waigeno – EM TV News, Port Moresby

Australia’s Opposition leader, Bill Shorten, arrived in Port Moresby on Sunday and met with PNG Prime Minister, Peter O’Neill today.

Shorten and the Australian delegation were on a two-day visit to discuss issues of mutual interest.

In his welcoming remarks, O’Neill said one of the highlights of the PNG-Australia relationship was the completion of the Regional Resettlement Arrangement in Manus.

Prime Minister O’Neill congratulated Shorten and the Shadow Minister for Foreign Affairs and Shadow Minister for Immigration.

On diplomatic and bilateral relations, Prime Minister O’Neill said with the completion of the Regional Resettlement Arrangement, both PNG and Australia have managed to maintain their commitments.

On other areas of cooperation, the new partnership arrangement on Australian Aid will see support aligned to PNG’s development priorities, including the redirection of 50 per cent of the aid to infrastructure by 2017.

On the issue of visa on arrival, O’Neill informed that Australia has agreed to conduct a joint study by a Joint Agency Panel on the Trans-Tasman Travel Arrangement it has with New Zealand, to consider similar arrangements on travel access by citizens of both countries.

On the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) 2018, O’Neill said PNG was grateful for that both the PNG and Australian governments’ are building joint activities in facilitating the event, including in the area of security.

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