CAPTION: PM Voreqe Bainimarama with Mr Rimbink Pato, Papua New Guinea Minister for Foreign Affairs and other PNG government  officials in Port Moresby. Photo: MINFO.

Reaffirming the strong relations between Fiji and Papua New Guinea is the expected outcome this week as Fijian Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama leads a state visit to PNG beginning today.

The head of government is leading a large government delegation to the Melanesian capital to begin a series of talks with his PNG counterpart, Honourable Peter O’Neill.

The Prime Minister was accorded a full military guard of honour with a 19 gun salute on his arrival at Jackson International Airport in the nation’s capital. The head of the Fijian Government was received by PNG’s Deputy Prime Minister Chief Honourable Leo Dion, Cabinet Ministers and other senior government officials.

Later this evening, the Prime Minister will be hosted to a state dinner by his PNG counterpart at the Parliament House.

Recent months have seen both countries calling for stronger relations between the two. Close to the end of 2012, Prime Minister O’Neill visited Fiji and said more efforts needed to be put in place to strengthen relations between the two countries.

“I want to assure you Prime Minister that we will continue to support Fiji on many of those issues and we look forward to working with you on many of these international forums,” Prime Minister O’Neill said referring to regional growth for both countries.

The Prime Minister’s State tour to PNG will coincide with the Trade & Investment Seminar jointly organised by Fiji’s Ministry of Industry and Trade and Investment Fiji. He is scheduled to open this seminar later this week.


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