By BARNABAS ORERE PONDROS
THE US Embassy and the US state department advance team are rushing to position security, logistics and other measures in place to ensure US secretary of state Hillary Clinton’s brief visit tomorrow is smooth.
Mrs Clinton and her entourage are due to arrive in Port Moresby shortly after midday, have a whirlwind visit, attending sanctioned events, before leaving for New Zealand.
Security will be strict and tight and getting an up close and personal-meet-and-greet with secretary Clinton will only be for a privileged few.
Although the US Embassy in Port Moresby is brushing aside security concerns and attributing the measures as normal US diplomatic protocol, insiders said Papua New Guinea was rated “a security high risk area because of its lax border control measures”.
Due to security reasons, specific timings of her visit and routes will not be released.
“If a schedule is leaked out, it will be immediately changed,” US Embassy spokesman Kimberly Strollok said yesterday during a briefing with selected media personnel.
The media has only been advised to turn up on the day and follow the lead of US Embassy personnel.
The embassy stressed that Mrs Clinton was eager to visit Papua New Guinea and would pay a brief visit to Governor-General Sir Paulias Matane and hold bilateral talks with Prime Minister Sir Michael Somare.
She will also attend a mangrove planting ceremony and give a pep talk at a women’s empowerment gathering.
To be featured prominently on her talks will be women’s empowerment and environmental protection.
She will also visit the US Embassy staff before departing.