Pacific island leaders to meet with President Xi

Chinese President Xi Jinping. Picture: REUTERS

PORT MORESBY, 16 NOVEMBER 2018 (POST COURIER) – About 12 Pacific Island nation leaders are already in Port Moresby ready for the 2018 APEC Leaders Meeting.

Federated States of Micronesia President Peter Christian, Vanuatu Prime Minister Charlot Salwai and Niue Premier Sir Toke Fufukia Talagai arrived with their entourage on Wednesday.

On Thursday Cook Islands Prime Minister Henry Puna, Samoa Prime Minister Tuilaepa Saliele Malielegaoi, Tonga Prime Minister Akilisi Pohiva, Tuvalu Prime Minister Enele Sosens Sopoaga, Solomon Islands Prime Minister Rick Houeenipwel, Fiji Defence and National Security Minister Ratu Inoke Kuboabola, Lands and Mining Minister for French Polynesia Tearl Alpha and Kiribati Special President Envoy David Ateti Teaabo jet into the capital city after midday. Marshall Islands President Hilda Heine and, Nauru President Baron Waqa arrive this morning.

Some of the Pacific Leaders will meet with China President Xi Jinping today and tomorrow for bilaterals. This includes the countries that have diplomatic ties with China.

President of the Peoples Republic of China Xi Jinping arrived in Papua New Guinea to a lavish welcome last night for his two-day State Visit ahead of the 2018 Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit.

President Xi arrived in style, first his cargo and security air force plane, and then immediately at 8 last night his jumbo Air China jet landed. He was met at the airport by Deputy Prime Minister Charles Abel, APEC Minister Justin Tkatchenko, NCD Governor Powes Parkop an entourage of singsing groups from all over the four regions of PNG and a fully packed local and international media.

President Xi’s motorcade, including two custom-made Hongqi limousines air-lifted from China was at the airport and no public was allowed in, as police sealed off the road past a boulevard, adorned with the flags of both countries, en route to the Stanley Hotel in Port Moresby where he is staying.

Two important members of the APEC Economies have confirmed their arrival dates in Port Moresby for the Leaders Summit.

The United States Vice President Michael Pence and the Prime Minister of Japan Shinzo Abe will arrive into Port Moresby on Saturday, Nov 17.

Pence will be arriving on Air Force 2 from Cairns, Australia.

The United States Embassy in Port Moresby has confirmed the arrival day of the Vice President but due to security risks, has not released information on his activities while in the city.

Pence will be met at the airport and taken to the APEC Haus for the commencement of the Leaders Summit on the same day. It is understood several vehicles will be brought into the city before he touches down at the Jackson’s International Airport. In a short statement, the US Embassy confirmed that the vehicles would be brought in but would not confirm the number of vehicles.

For the Japanese PM, no details have been released except his arrival date and his departure date on Sun, Nov 18. Also visiting the country will be the Japanese Minister for Foreign Affairs Taro Kono who will arrive on Thursday and will leave on Fri, November 16. The Japanese PM is no stranger to PNG, having visited the country before.

However, for the Vice-President of the USA, it will be his first.

Minister for APEC Justin Tkatchenko has alluded to the arrival times of the leaders but no more information has been released on their arrivals for the other economies.

However, Tkatchenko did say that the Jackson’s International Airport was ready to welcome all 21 economies to the country

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