Vanuatu PM down under after inking security pact


Vanuatu’s prime minister is in Canberra for discussions just months after signing a security agreement with Australia.

Prime Minister Alatoi Ishmael Kalsakau will meet with Prime Minister Anthony Albanese as well as opposition foreign affairs spokesman Simon Birmingham.

Kalsakau will be joined by his trade and business minister and his agriculture minister, with discussions also set to cover trade co-operation.
Albanese said his government would listen to Vanuatu’s concerns as it tackles natural disasters and the impacts of climate change.

“Australia and Vanuatu have a strong relationship and a shared commitment to work with our Pacific family to secure the best outcomes for the region,” he said.

Senator Birmingham said the visit would help build on the relationship with one of Australia’s closest neighbours.

It is the first visit of Vanuatu’s sitting prime minister since 2018.

The security agreement signed in December spans co-operation in areas including disaster relief, environmental and resource security, cyber security, aviation safety and law enforcement.