Australian PM to visit
BY GORETHY KENNETH
AUSTRALIA’S Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull is visiting Papua New Guinea tomorrow to further enhance its bilateral relationship and discuss pressing issues pertaining to their assistance in the region.
High on the agenda will be the Manus Regional Processing Centre, the 2017 National Elections, the APEC Leaders’ Summit, and the overall Official Development Assistance to Papua New Guinea including the 75th Anniversary for the Kokoda Track.
Sir Mek told to stop using ‘cheap politics’
THE Office of the Prime Minister has called on Sir Mekere Morauta to leave international relations talks to elected leaders instead of using pointless cheap politics for his own gain.
The Prime Minister’s chief of staff George Bopi made the comments after, Sir Mekere, who is intending to run at the upcoming National Election, made dubious claims about a planned bilateral meeting between the Prime Ministers of PNG and Australia on Saturday.
“I don’t know what he is trying to gain from such nonsense and disrespectful press release, this bilateral meeting in Port Moresby has been planned for some months pending scheduling that enabled both leaders to be present,” Mr Bopi said.
“Facilitating a meeting between Prime Ministers takes significant co-ordination and dates are based on these preparations.
“His press release is also as inaccurate as it is misleading. He claims the two Prime Ministers met a few weeks ago, and this is not true as their last meeting was in 2016.”
Mr Bopi said the upcoming meeting between the two Prime Ministers will provide an opportunity to discuss ongoing issues of importance for the two countries.
“Prime Ministers O’Neill and Turnbull will take the opportunity to share perspectives on issues that include increasing trade and investment, Australia’s development support program, plans to close the Regional Processing Centre on Manus and APEC Leaders’ Summit preparations.
“Our two countries share strong and enduring relations and continue to build on issues that are of mutual interest.
“If Sir Mekere thinks that bilateral relations with key partners should go to sleep for four months while the election is taking place, he is living in a false reality. We are not living in past decades where Government functions shut down during an election period.
“Instead of trying to cause needless disruption, Sir Mekere would be better to focus on legal issues he has with the highly questionable use of money belonging to people of Western Province that is being held by the PNG Sustainable Development Program that he chairs.
“His claims are nonsense and highlight a lack of understanding of how modern international relations works between partner countries.”