Bishop meets with PNG foreign minister

PORT MORESBY,09 AUGUST 2018 (SBS) – The Australian government has provided $58.9 million (US$43.7 million) over two years for the Australian Federal Police to provide assistance to the Royal Papua New Guinea Constabulary.

Australian foreign minister Julie Bishop told SBS News Australia remains committed to providing support to PNG.

“The success of our aid program and federal police program should not and cannot be judged on one incident,” she said.

“I will raise this specific issue with him [Papua New Guinea Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade the Hon Rimbink Pato] to get PNG’s perspective.”

She added, “Of course it’s important that Australia continues to support PNG. They are our closest neighbour. We have a particular responsibility to support PNG in the lead up to APEC.”

The APEC conference is being held in November and Australia has agreed to provide security assistance, policing support and the Australian Federal Police to work closely with the PNG police.

“I’ll find out the details of this incident but it does indicate that Australia should continue to maintain our presence there assisting, advising, supporting the PNG police and the PNG government,” Bishop said.

The AFP currently funds 73 positions under the Papua New Guinea Australia Policing Partnership (PNG-APP) with 56 positions undertaking specific APEC PNG 2018 advisory roles.

A spokesperson for the Papua New Guinea Police Commissioner told SBS News he won’t be commenting further today on the incident…..

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