PNG & Australia diplomatic relations has matured through active and consistent engagements in all sectors for over 43 years

Approved for Release: 14th June 2019

Prime Minister, Hon. James Marape, MP met with Resident High Commissioner of Australia to Papua New Guinea His Excellency Bruce Davis recently to discuss key bilateral issues between the two countries, since his assumption of Office.

Prime Minister Marape reaffirmed the historical connections that existed through the colonial administration including the excellent warm and friendly relations that have been enjoyed since establishment of diplomatic ties in 1975.

“The relations between both countries has matured and has been through active and consistent engagements in all sectors,” the Prime Minister said.

“The relations, furthermore have evolved from an aid dependency focus to one of equal partnership, with more focus on a comprehensive economic and strategic partnership.

“The Australian Government’s continuous support in the Rural Electrification Project and the successful launching of the program in more than three provinces.

“This program is a national project and we would like to see it rolled out to all the provinces by 2030.”

Prime Minister Marape also assured the Australian Government that the Papua New Guinea National Government was committed and would fully support the upcoming referendum on Bougainville.

“The Bougainville issue remains an important test for PNG, as it impinges on the issue and question of sovereignty and territorial integrity and the outcome of the referendum should be within the parameters of the National Constitution.

“The outcome of the referendum and the question of independence and greater autonomy have to be dealt with sensitively,” said Prime Minister Marape.

Prime Minister Marape in concluding their discussions, thanked the Government of Australia for the recent announcement of its increased annual aid package and encouraged High Commissioner Davis to elaborate on the priority areas that the Australian development assistance would be targeted under the existing national development plans and initiatives such as the Medium Term Development Plan III.

He also took time to introduce the recently appointed Foreign Minister of his Cabinet, Hon. Soroi Eoe to the Australian High Commissioner.