Papua New Guinea Prime Minister James Marape is expected to have bilateral talks focusing on trade and regional security with his Fijian counterpart Sitiveni Rabuka on 19 May in Port Moresby.
Marape, who was in Fiji in February, then invited Rabuka to visit Papua New Guinea to follow up on their discussions in Suva.
Marape, Rabuka and other Pacific Island Forum leaders will attend the Forum for India-Pacific Islands Cooperation on 22 May 22 at the Apec Haus.
United States President Joe Biden and India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be in Port Moresby for the event too.
Biden, scheduled for a three-hour stopover in Port Moresby, is on his way to Sydney, Australia for the Quad Leaders meeting between the U.S, Australia, Japan and India.
Rabuka is also expected to meet Governor-General Sir Bob Dadae.
Rabuka told Marape in Suva that Fiji would re-open its high commission in Port Moresby which was closed in late 2020.
Marape promised to identify a piece of land in Port Moresby for Fiji to build a permanent high commission.
Fiji will do the same for PNG in Suva.
Marape said it was important to continue maintaining good relations with Fiji.
“We have big businesses in Fiji hence maintaining good relations is a must,” Marape said.
Meanwhile, Papua New Guinea security operations for the visits this month by United States President Joe Biden and India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be similar to that provided during APEC in 2018, police say.
But deputy commissioner of police and chief of operations Philip Mitna explained it would be a little simpler.
The Apec Leaders’ Summit in November, 2018 was attended by then U.S vice-president Mike Pence, Chinese President Xi Zinping and other world leaders. Mitna told The National that all police officers in the special services division in Port Moresby would provide perimeter security.
“We will not be flying any teams from the provinces in, because security for the United States President Joe Biden will be provided by the U.S themselves,” he said.
“The same with the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi. He will be coming in with his own security.
“So our police mobile units from the Special Services Division will only provide perimeter security along the routes that the United States President Joe Biden, Indian Prime Minister, Narendra Modi will be traveling on,” he said.
Mitna said unlike during APEC where security teams from other countries were exempted from local laws, it would be different this time.
“For this visit, they will operate within the country’s laws. So the Royal Papua New Guinea Constabulary will take the lead,” he said.
Mitna said police were still in the planning stages and had not confirmed the routes yet. Once the routes are confirmed, police will inform the public.
“Parts of the city will be locked down during the visit,” he said.
“At this time, we are not able to say which parts of the city, as we are yet to confirm the routes.
“But it’s safe to say that the parts of the city to be closed off, will be along the routes that both the U.S President, Indian Prime Minister, will be travelling on.”
Biden and Modi will be in the country to attend the Forum for the India-Pacific Islands Cooperation on 22 May.
SOURCE: THE NATIONAL/PACNEWS