By DEMAS TIEN
FRENCH Senator Joelle Garriaud-Maylam said she is pleased with the diplomatic relationship between Papua New Guinea and France.
Garriaud-Maylam was in the country during independence anniversary and witnessed the flag-raising ceremony at Independence Hill in Port Moresby.
She also met Prime Minister Peter O’Neill.
Garriaud-Maylam told The National that the diplomatic relationship between France and PNG would continue to prosper.
“I feel that there is a special tie between France and PNG. I think we understand each other. Though we are far away, I feel that there is strong understanding between our countries,” she said.
“We were very grateful for the support your country and your Prime Minister (Peter O’Neill), who is an excellent man, gave to all countries, for instance in environmental issues.”
Garriaud-Maylam said the two countries needed to work “hand in hand” to address issues of climate change that was affecting the world.
She said the climate change conference in Paris was a huge success.
Meanwhile, French President Francois Hollande extended his warm congratulations to Papua New Guinea on its 41st anniversary.
He told Governor-General Sir Michael Ogio that this year was marked by an unprecedented development of our bilateral relations, in particular through the support the country had given to the Paris Conference on Climate Change.
“It is on this occasion that I have had the pleasure to have discussions with Prime Minister Peter O’Neill,” Hollande said. “I wish we could keep on deepening those exchanges, in particular in the field of trade and investment.
“Papua New Guinea has had for the past several years a strong and sustainable economic growth, a token of prosperity for its people.
“France is happy to be associated with it through French companies operating in your country, with the investment of TOTAL Group.”
By DEMAS TIEN