Prime Minister and Foreign Affairs Minister Hon. James Marape arrived safely in Canberra, Australia, this afternoon, marking the commencement of a crucial diplomatic mission. The highlight of the visit is the anticipated signing of the Framework Agreement for Closer Security Relations between Australia and Papua New Guinea tomorrow.
Scheduled to take place at Parliament House in Canberra, the signing will follow a one-on-one bilateral meeting between Prime Minister Marape and Australian Prime Minister Hon. Anthony Albanese. This landmark agreement underscores various aspects of collaboration, with a particular focus on Australian Federal Police support for the Royal Papua New Guinea Constabulary, reinforcing mutual security interests in the region. Prime Minister Marape emphasised the strategic importance of this security arrangement for both Papua New Guinea and Australia.
Upon his arrival in Canberra from Brisbane, Prime Minister Marape immediately engaged in a meeting with Papua New Guinea ministers and senior public servants. Subsequently, he held separate discussions with Australian Deputy Prime Minister Hon. Richard Marles and Australian Treasurer Hon. Jim Chalmers. The evening concluded with a dinner hosted by Australian Foreign Affairs Minister Hon. Penny Wong.
Prime Minister Marape’s visit to Canberra marks the culmination of a fruitful year in Australia-Papua New Guinea relations, which began with Prime Minister Albanese’s visit to Papua New Guinea in January. It has been a busy year for Prime Minister Marape, focusing on strengthening bilateral relations not only with Australia but also with numerous countries in the Pacific region and globally.
Expressing gratitude to the people of Papua New Guinea for their support, Prime Minister Marape stated, “I wish to inform the country that I have also been invited by Prime Minister Albanese to address the Australian Parliament in Canberra in February 2024, reciprocating his address to our Parliament in Port Moresby this year. This will be a high honor for Papua New Guinea, as I will be the first leader of a Pacific country, apart from New Zealand, to address the Australian Parliament.”
In addition to the security agreement, Prime Minister Marape is set to attend the 17th PNG Resources and Energy Investment Conference & Exhibition scheduled for December 10-13 at the International Convention Centre in Sydney. During the conference, he will address businesses and major resources companies operating in Papua New Guinea, promoting the country as a favorable investment destination