Engagement with France delivering results: PM

National

PRIME Minister Peter O’Neill has welcomed the country’s increased engagement with France in business and cultural exchanges.
O’Neill met French Senator Joelle Garriaud-Maylam, who is responsible for representing French citizens living overseas, in Port Moresby.
Garriaud-Maylam also conveyed a message from President François Hollande who had met O’Neill in Paris earlier this year.
O’Neill said Hollande expressed his gratitude for PNG’s support for the global action on climate change at the Paris conference last December.
“France and the broader European Union have become increasingly important trading partners for PNG and the Pacific,” he said.
“We share similar positions on a number of issues such as climate change and reducing global emissions and efforts to deal with illegal, unregulated and unreported fishing in Pacific waters.”
O’Neill told Garriaud-Maylam of what had transpired during the Pacific Islands Forum meeting last week in the Federated States of Micronesia.
“The Pacific Islands Forum has agreed to admit French Polynesia and New Caledonia as full members,” O’Neill said.
“Papua New Guinea was fully supportive of the inclusion of two territories as members.
“Collectively they have a population of more than half a million people and make an important contribution to Pacific affairs, and can now engage more deeply through the Forum. This is evident in areas where we have shared interests including tourism promotion.”

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