Showing no regrets, Prime Minister O’Neill remains stern on the government’s decision to cancel visa on arrivals for Australian citizens visiting the country.
Addressing the audience of distinguished business delegates both from Australia and Papua New Guinea, O’Neill stated that the two countries have been friends for years.
However, Australia’s reluctance to give PNG a long over-due ‘visa on arrival’ status has led the O’Neill-Dion government to carry out its decision to ban visas on arrivals for Australians.
He said that in a mature relationship, which is what the two countries share, this shouldn’t be the case.
Present in the audience was Australia’s Foreign Affairs Minister Julie Bishop, who responded to the Prime Minister’s comments by assuring him that it was a technical issue and not a political one, and expressing that Australia’s relationship with Papua New Guinea was a priority for the Abbott government.
Currently, Papua New Guineans wishing to enter Australia can apply online for a visa; however, the process is at times lengthy, and for Australians wishing to enter PNG, a visa must be granted prior to arrival.
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