Prime Minister Peter O’Neill will formally invite President Donald Trump to attend APEC 2018 in Port Moresby, saying the United States remains a strong friend of PNG.
Trump was sworn in as the 45th President of the United States of America last Friday (Saturday PNG time) after defeating Democrat candidate Hillary Clinton in a tight and widely-followed election last November.
O’Neill yesterday congratulated Trump and said the US had also been helping PNG prepare for the 2018 event.
“On half of the people and Government of Papua New Guinea, I congratulate Donald Trump on his historic inauguration as the 45th President of the United States of America,” he said.
“I will soon formally invite President Trump to attend the APEC Summit in Port Moresby in November 2018.”
“As Papua New Guinea prepares to host APEC, we appreciate the ongoing cooperation we are receiving from the United States and look to further enhance this engagement.
“The United States is a strong friend of Papua New Guinea and we will continue to build our relationship in the months and years ahead.
“At the bilateral level, Papua New Guinea and the United States co-operate on a wide number of areas of mutual interest.
“This includes increasing trade and investment, as well as other areas that include fisheries, education and health-care.
“The United States has long been a beacon of democracy for the world and it is heartwarming to once again see the transition of authority between elected administrations in Washington DC.”
O’Neill had earlier welcomed Trump’s decision to nominate Rex Tillerson, the chief executive officer of Exxon-Mobil, as his Secretary of State.
O’Neill said he was delighted that Papua New Guinea would have a “very good and genuine friend” in the Trump administration in one of the most important offices in the United States government.
“Our nation is privileged to know Tillerson as a person with a genuine interest in economic development in our nation,” O’Neill said.
“In my discussions with Tillerson on ExxonMobil’s substantial and long-term investment in Papua New Guinea’s energy sector, I have been impressed by his understanding of the potential our nation holds.
“He has a clear appreciation of our oil and gas sector, and his confidence in the expansion of this sector.”