Foreign affairs department undergoes major review

National, Normal

The National, Tuesday 21st May 2013


A MAJOR review is underway in the Foreign Affairs Department that will include determining the status of West Papuans living in PNG, Parliament was told last week.

Foreign Affairs and Immigration Minister Rimbink Pato said his department was undergoing a major review which also included a new foreign policy that would get Cabinet approval before presented to Parliament.

Pato was responding to questions from NCD Governor Powes Parkop about the status of West Papuan residents and if the government could remove the K10,000 fee for them to become PNG citizens.

Pato said that the governor’s concerns were catered for in the review and that the status of the West Papuan would be looked into to determine their refugee status.

He added that the review would consider exempting West Papuans from paying the fee, which was a requirement for all applicants for citizenship.

The minister reiterated that the review of the country’s new foreign policy was almost complete and the draft document would be submitted for cabinet approval before being presented to Parliament.