PNG, New Zealand seek closer corporation

Prime Minister Peter O’Neill received a courtesy call from New Zealand High Commissioner Tony Fautua to discuss ongoing co-operation with Papua New Guinea and a visit by NZ’s outgoing Foreign Minister Murray McCully next month.

They also discussed engagement in the areas of Customs and quarantine procedures, advancing air services agreement between the two countries and support for Apec Papua New Guinea 2018.

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“New Zealand and Papua New Guinea have a very strong relationship and this will improve further,” O’Neill said after meeting Fautua yesterday.

“The New Zealand government, led by new Prime Minister Bill English, has expressed interest in deepening relations and exploring new opportunities for co-operation.
“We hope Prime Minister English will make his first formal visit to Papua New Guinea soon and further strengthen relations between our countries at the highest level.

“The close relationship we have had with past prime minsters and the foreign minister has made a lot of difference in relations between our countries and this will continue.
“New Zealand has been active in a range of projects that have advanced the lives of many Papua New Guineans in many regions including Bougainville, and he is interested to take a last look at the development of these projects.

“We appreciate the commitment that Murray McCully has given to Papua New Guinea and countries around the Pacific.
“I look forward to meeting Murray McCully on his last visit as foreign minister.”
The prime minister said engagement in a number of bilateral areas was set to expand and this would be beneficial to both countries.
“Trade Minister Richard Maru is in discussion with New Zealand on a number of important areas that will build PNG’s capacity in Customs and quarantine procedures that will make our own domestic food production sectors more resilient.”

The National/ONEPNG

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