| PNG Business News
PORT MORESBY – Papua New Guinea prime minister James Marape says that, for the first time in the 47 years since independence, an Australian government and prime minister are addressing all outstanding issues between both countries.
Marape was commenting on the visit by Australian prime minister Anthony Albanese in mid-January.
“We do not want the moment of the visit of PM Albanese to be wasted,” he said.
“There have been many bilateral meetings and visits, but this one was historic in that he also addressed our parliament.
“Australia is committed to addressing all the outstanding issues with us.”
Marape said he had already written a letter to Albanese thanking him for the visit and the issues he raised.
“If you listened to his speech, he talked about increasing the trade relationships between our two countries, including in agriculture and food production,” Marape said.
“He also talked about increased people-to-people relationships, addressing visa issues, exchange programs between our police and military, public service and interventions in health and infrastructure.
“This visit was not about requesting money. We never requested any money from Australia nor did they make a commitment to help us with money.
“This visit was all about the outstanding bilaterals we have with them,” he said.
“We want to fine tune and improve this relationship to one that will anchor Australia and PNG going forward.
“Our upcoming meeting between Australia and PNG Ministers in February will consolidate this and move things forward.
“We want to achieve results and do not want this to be another round of wasted bilateral visits.”
Marape said the relationship between our two countries is no ordinary relationship.
“Australia and PNG have a strong foundational relationship from our colonial shared history up to today.”
“I thank everyone for allowing the guest of our country, Australian prime minister Hon Anthony Albanese, to have a presence in our parliament and address our people,” Marape said.
Albanese also visited Wewak where he paid his respects to the late Grand Chief Sir Michael Somare.