Prime Minister Hon. James Marape has acknowledged the deepening relationship between Papua New Guinea and Australia, saying it was at the highest it has ever been.

Prime Minister Marape said this as he welcomed Australian Prime Minister Hon. Anthony Albanese at a State dinner at Parliament House to honour the Australian Prime Minister who is in the country to mark ANZAC Day this Thursday, 25th April 2024, in Kokoda.

Prime Minister Albanese has chosen to walk a section of the Kokoda Track this week where he will be accompanied by Prime Minister Marape before the two mark ANZAC Day at a commemoration ceremony at Isurava Memorial site.

This evening at Parliament House, Prime Minister Marape hosted Prime Minister Albanese and his delegation to a State dinner where the Spirit of ANZAC was set in place with the thematic function, a prelude to Thursday’s event.

PM Marape said; “Prime Minister Albanese sets quite a record here. He has given me the extraordinary privilege to address the Australian Parliament on behalf of Papua New Guinea. He has addressed our Parliament. And he will possibly go down as the Australian Prime Minister who has frequented our country back-to-back.

“Every year, he has come to visit us. He has indicated to me in our short and fruitful bilateral meeting, that he would visit us again next year when we celebrate our 50th anniversary.

“Prime Minister Albanese, thank you very much for having such a warm place in your heart for Papua New Guinea and your kind gesture in visiting us one more time.

“All conversations that we had – you spoke in our Parliament; I spoke in your Parliament; and we have had fruitful bilateral exchanges – I could not be any more satisfied than where we are at today.

“The Australia-PNG relationship is at the highest.

“We have many relationships but there is no one closer to us than Australia.

“You can rest assured that the security of our two nations are deeply anchored in our shared past which is littered with much tears, sweat and sacrifice.  And none more evident than the Spirit of ANZAC which manifests in our many freedoms and what is now known as Kokoda Track.

“I am privileged to associate myself with you.

“Tomorrow’s walk is symbolic of how we will progress into the future. We will walk hand-in-hand, carry each other, and share the load together,” said Prime Minister Marape.

Over the last 4 years, Australia has spent over K4 billion-worth of programs that have complemented the Marape-led Government’s  development budget focus areas in infrastructure, Law & Order, education, health and economy.