Papua New Guinea Prime Minister James Marape says the just-concluded United States-Pacific Leaders’ summit in Washington allowed Pacific Island leaders to discuss with President Joe Biden issues related to prosperity, security and sustainability in the region.

“The summit highlighted the strong partnership and cooperation between United States (U.S) and the Pacific Island nations,” he said.

“This reaffirmation of robust bonds will help in addressing the shared challenges faced by the region, and work towards a more secure and prosperous Pacific.”

He welcomed the U.S “reaffirming its commitment to the Pacific Island nations and strengthening partnerships in various areas”.

Biden announced the:

*Allocation of US$40 million (K145 million) towards the Pacific Islands Infrastructure Initiative;

*Signing of a 10-year US$600 million (K2.1 billion) agreement to support the sustainable development of Pacific Islands fisheries;

*Intention by the U.S and its Quad partners to invest US$11 million (K40 million) in maritime domain awareness technology.

“This infrastructure development can bridge the digital divide and enhance economic growth, as well as improve access to services such as healthcare and education,” Marape said.

“This commitment helps to strengthen the US partnership with the Pacific Island nations in promoting economic growth, addressing climate change, ensuring public health, and countering illegal fishing.

“It is also encouraging to see the U.S working with partners such as Japan and Australia to focus on climate-resilient economic development,” he said.

“This broader initiative involving multiple partners can help to leverage resources and expertise towards achieving sustainable, resilient, and climate-resilient economic growth in the region.”

The U.S aims to strengthen its partnership with Pacific Island nations in areas including climate change, economic growth, sustainable development, public health, and countering illegal fishing.

“PNG remains committed to working closely with the United States and other Pacific Island nations to address common challenges and seize opportunities for growth and development,” Marape said.