Rudd’s visit to strengthen ties

Main Stories, National

The National, Tuesday July 16th, 2013

 THE brief visit by Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd will strengthen its bilateral and trade relationship with Papua New Guinea, Prime Minister Peter O’Neill says.

O’Neill said his meeting with Rudd yesterday was a success as several issues contained in the Port Moresby declaration in 2008 were discussed and resolved.

He said key issues discussed included PNG’s development needs and regional issues such as human trafficking.

O’Neill said the two governments agreed to work together on programmes such as policing which would see 50 Australian Federal police engaged to assist PNG police   address law and order.

He said they also discussed health and education, the major priority areas of his government.

“These are important programmes my government is embarking on. We have framed our own budget prioritising these key sectors,” O’Neill said.

“We thank the Australian government for accepting our programmes so that we can work together and deliver meaningful programmes to our people.

“We thank and appreciate the ongoing support that Australia continues to assist PNG in development in the country.”

O’Neill also thanked the Australian government’s support in rebuilding the Manus detention centre and making it a permanent facility to process asylum seekers.