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To strengthen bilateral relations between Papua New Guinea and France particularly in the military and security, Brigadier General Yann Latil, Commander-in-Chief of the French Armed Forces in New Caledonia recently visited PNG and had fruitful discussions with A/CDF Commodore Philip Polewara, Minister for Defence Dr Billy Joseph and the Department of Defence Secretary, Hari John Akipe in Port Moresby.

Their discussions were based on several fields of cooperation, including humanitarian assistance and disaster relief (HADR) that PNG could need in the case of natural disaster.

Defence relations between the two countries have gained new momentum since the signing on the 31st of October 2022, of an agreement on the status of forces (SoFA) and defence cooperation, an agreement whose ratification is still in progress.

Brigadier General Latil also had a chance to visit various components and sites of the PNG Defence Force, as it allows him to discuss possible cooperation in order to jointly ensure the security of Papua New Guinea while respecting its sovereignty and contribute “olgeta” to the stability of the South Pacific.

He went to the Naval Base, visited the Air Transport Wing and the 1st Battalion of the Royal Pacific Islands Regiment (1RPIR) at Taurama Barracks, including a stop at Bomana War Ceremony, where he laid a wreath in memory of all the fallen soldiers buried there, including Papuan ones.

Furthermore, Brigadier General Latil exchanged words with Foreign Affairs Minister Justin Tkatchenko and Fisheries Minister Jelta Wong regarding the fight against illegal fishing, an important field of cooperation between France and PNG.

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