Prime Minister O?Neill Congratulates New Australian Leader

The Prime Minister of Papua New Guinea, Hon. Peter O?Neill CMG MP, has congratulated Hon. Malcolm Turnbull MP, on his election as the Prime Minister of Australia.

PM O?Neill said he expects to build a strong working relationship with Malcolm Turnbull and progress a range of issues of importance for Papua New Guinea and the Pacific Region.

?I congratulate Malcolm Turnbull as the new Prime Minister of Australia and I look forward to meet with him in the near future,? MP O?Neill said.

?There is a lot we have in common between our two countries, and there are areas where we can build closer co-operation.

?In particular, the people of the Pacific Island States are concerned at the effects of climate change and the devastation this is causing to so many lives.

?There are also a number of further areas of bilateral cooperation on which we will continue consultation and we look forward to this taking place.?

Prime Minister O?Neill said the new Australian leader will be invited to visit Papua New Guinea at the next convenient opportunity.

“Tomorrow the diplomatic relationship between our two countries is 40 years old and the strongest it has been.

“Papua New Guinea will always work with Australia’s elected Government of the day to gain the best outcome for both countries.

“Changes in political leadership are never easy and I look forward to ministerial roles being clarified as soon as is possible in the Australian Government.

“Papua New Guinea is the largest destination for Australian investment and the business and development relationship between our two countries remains strong.?

The Prime Minister said he was pleased that Hon. Julie Bishop MP will continue in her current role.

“As Foreign Minister, Julie Bishop has engaged with our Government in a way that has been mutually beneficial.

?I especially thank her for development reforms she has driven that will achieve better outcomes for Papua New Guinea and Australia in the future.

?Foreign Minister Bishop has also been very supportive in strengthening public service training in our country and I look forward to discussing this when she visits Papua New Guinea later in the year.?

Prime Minister O?Neill has written to Malcolm Turnbull to offer congratulations, and written to Tony Abbott to thank him for the working engagement that has been maintained over the past two years.

?I thoroughly enjoyed the working relationship that we had with Tony Abbott and I wish him every success in the future.?

PRESS RELEASE