Pato thanks Aust for always lending a hand

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By HELEN TARAWA in Vietnam
Foreign Affairs and Trade Minister Rimbink Pato thanked Australia for its support to Papua New Guinea in many issues including Apec 2018.
Pato, who met Australian counterpart Julie Bishop at the bilateral meeting in Da Nang, Vietnam, on Wednesday, said it was always a pleasure when both ministers meet.
“It’s always a pleasure to meet at every opportunity that’s possible.  That shows the bonds of friendship and ties between PNG and Australia and thank you always for the support that Australia gives to PNG,” Pato said.
“Our preparations and team work has been fantastic; we’ve built the security issues together with New Zealand and our teams have been good working together.”
Bishop said there have been a number of high level ministerial exchanges with PNG.
“We are very pleased that our prime ministers met at the Pacific Islands Forum and at the NRL grand final and we have had some very productive discussions about how to work in partnership with you in preparations for Apec 2018,” she said.
“It will be a significant even for PNG and for the Pacific and I’m looking forward to visit in mid-December and also looking forward to the Australia-PNG Ministerial Forum early next year.
“There’s so much for Australia and PNG to discuss.
“I’m pleased that we are both at this meeting before PNG’s hosting of Apec in 2018 and I’m certainly looking forward to a number of issues that are being discussed in advance to your hosting the next Apec.”