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Papua New Guinea Governor-General Bob Dadae met with Solomon Islands Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare Tuesday, his first official guest after being sworn in at Government House.
Sogavare and his delegation arrived in Port Moresby on Monday and will leave on Friday. He is visiting PNG in his capacity as Chair of the Melanesian Spearhead Group. PNG will assume the Chair of the MSG later after the 2017 National Election.
Dadae and Sogavare discussed several issues including the Melanesian Spearhead Group meeting, peace and security in the region, Pacific Agreement on Closer Economic Relations (PACER plus), education and trade relations between PNG and Solomon Islands.
Sogavare said the Solomon Islands was grateful to PNG for its support during the country’s 1999 ethnic conflict which resulted in a four-month nationwide state-of-emergency and the formation of the RAMSI international peace-monitoring group which PNG was part of.
“We must protect peace and stability in the region. We are fortunate to live in a region where despite certain challenges we do not experience large scale conflicts as experienced in other parts of the world. Our challenge now is to maintain peace and stability in the region.
“We thank PNG for the role you played in restoring peace in the Solomon Islands,” the Prime Minister said.
He said, Solomon Islands appreciates the close collaboration PNG and Solomon Islands share in areas of trade and investment, and in particular investments by PNG-owned companies contributing to employment opportunities and economic growth in his country.
The Prime Minister also expressed his gratitude to the PNG Government for providing funding to Solomon Island students to pursue tertiary education in PNG universities.
The Governor-General said Prime Minister Sogavare’s visit reflects the close relationship our two countries share and which must be maintained.
SOURCE: POST COURIER/PACNEWS
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