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Australia. Security agreement with Papua New Guinea by June. Beijing baffled

Australia and Papua New Guinea have agreed to finish negotiations on a comprehensive security pact by April, hoping to sign the treaty by June, after a Jan. 12 meeting between the two countries’ leaders in Port Moresby.

The proposed bilateral security treaty, which both sides pledged to finish negotiations on by April 30, would cover defence, with ongoing discussions about force training and joint operations, as well as issues such as climate change and cybersecurity, the reports said. Malay mail.

Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese has said the economic and security interests of its Pacific neighbors are “indivisible,” hours after becoming the first foreign leader to address the Papua New Guinea parliament; “Our economic and security cooperation is in our interest. Our interests are indivisible. You cannot have a safer Papua New Guinea without a safer Australia and vice versa True.

Australian Defense Minister Richard Marlis said last October that Australia wanted to strike a deal that would make each nation’s navy, air force and army personnel work in tandem more often. The United States and its allies, including Australia, are trying to counter Beijing’s growing influence in the strategically important region after China struck a security agreement with the Solomon Islands in April.

Papua New Guinea Prime Minister James MarapeHe said the proposed deal would lift relations with Australia, which he described as a “friend for life”, without jeopardizing Papua New Guinea’s bilateral relations with other countries: “Without prejudice to the characteristics of our bilateral relations with other countries, our common interests will be enshrined in these security agreements.” Marab said.

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Australia remains the largest donor of aid to the country it once ran as a colonial power. In the face of growing aid and Chinese influence, Australia has sought to strengthen ties with its northern neighbor, and the leaders have met several times since Albanese’s election victory last May.

The two leaders also agreed to simplify how visas are issued to the thousands of workers moving between the two countries. Albania announced a new working holiday visa regime that will take effect in June. Reuters.

Madeline Ingraw

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