Talks to guage bilateral support

National, Normal

The National, Friday November 1st, 2013

 THE annual PNG-Australia senior officials meeting (SOM) will be held next month, Immigration Minister Rimbink Pato announced yesterday.

Pato greeted Australian officials to PNG yesterday for a meeting to prepare for next month’s occasion.

“Australia and PNG have a unique and enduring relationship and share a genuine commitment to working together as partners in concrete and practical ways to develop and strengthen bilateral ties,” Pato said.

A statement from the Foreign Affairs Department said the ministerial forum met annually to oversee bilateral cooperation arrangements and initiatives. 

The statement said the meeting would be headed by the leader of the PNG delegation and Deputy Secretary Policy of the PNG Department of Foreign Affairs Lucy Bogari, and head of delegation for Australia and First Assistant Secretary Pacific Division of the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Kathy Klugman. 

The meeting will include issues regarding  economic cooperation treaty (ECT), defence cooperation arrangement (DCA), police (Queensland funding), visa on arrival, seasonal workers and asylum seekers, the sovereign wealth fund (SWF), gender and youth issues, anti-corruption and legal cooperation, Bougainville, Torres Strait, Kokoda initiative and sports cooperation.