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Papua New Guinean PM visits Australia

Visit by the Prime Minister Of Papua New Guinea


I am pleased to advise that the Prime Minister of Papua New Guinea, Sir Michael Somare, will make an official visit to Australia from 3-6 October 2005 as a guest of the Australian Government.

Australians from all walks of life share an enduring affection and concern for the welfare and prosperity of Papua New Guinea, stemming from our role before independence and cemented through the dark days of World War II. Papua New Guinea is our closest neighbour and remains a significant strategic and development partner.

Sir Michael’s visit comes at an important time in the bilateral relationship and provides a valuable opportunity to discuss ways in which Australia can continue to assist Papua New Guinea meet its economic and governance challenges, including through the Enhanced Cooperation Programme agreed between our two countries.

I also look forward to discussing with Prime Minister Somare our mutual interest in a range of important regional issues in advance of the Pacific Islands Forum leaders’ meeting which Papua New Guinea will host next month.

It is particularly pleasing that Sir Michael’s visit follows so soon after the celebration of the 30th anniversary of Papua New Guinea’s independence, at which Australia was represented by the Governor General, His Excellency Major General Michael Jeffery AC CVO MC.

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