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Both Prime Minister’s discuss positive bilateral relations between Australia and PNG

The Manus Resettlement Processing Centre was among the issues discussed during the PNG and Australia leaders meeting today.

Talks were on the work being done in the lead up to the closure of the Centre, following a PNG Supreme Court decision.

PNG Prime Minister, Peter O’Neill, said work is progressing well and the processing of the refugees is also going well.

Around midday, Australian Prime Minister, Malcolm Turnbull, and O’Neill held a joint media conference.

O’Neill began with an expression of sympathy for all Australian citizens affected by Cyclone Debbie and the floods that followed.

On thhe topic of the Manus Regional Processing Centre, O’Neill said they are working to have the Centre closed.

He added some refugees were resettled in PNG, with business houses willing to take professions who are able to work PNG.

Turnbull thanked O’Neill for PNG’s continued cooperation in the fight against people smuggling, saying they will continue to work together to close the Regional Processing Centre by the end of the year.

Ongoing trade and investment issues between both countries were also discussed.

O’Neill said Australia is by far the largest investor in PNG. He admitted that the country’s revenues have been affected by global commodity prices.

Turnbull said the economic relationship brings huge benefits to both countries.

PNG is the largest recipient of Australian Aid, over half a billion dollars a year.

O’Neill stated APEC was also discussed, where the Australian Government will provide support to PNG in the area of security.

Australia is also proving logistical support and capacity building in the lead up to PNG’s national General election this year.

Turnbull said he looked forward to discussing the economic relationship with PNG business leaders, entrepreneurs, and Australian business leaders in PNG, tomorrow, at a Business Breakfast with the Australia-PNG Business Council.

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