“Diplomatic dialogue and approval by the Tuvalu government and all other transit countries is necessary to successfully repatriate seven PNG nationals stranded on the Polynesian country,” said Hulahau.
He added “It must be successfully negotiated at the Diplomatic level to allow their safe return.”
In a statement, Hulahau said the issue is a consular matter that requires negotiations and approval from the Government of Tuvalu and the transiting countries for these men to successfully pass through to get home.
“The Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade is the sole Government agency responsible for providing consular assistance to PNG Nationals in such situations overseas,” he said.
The Chief Immigration Officer explains that ICA has no direct role in negotiating their return but can only assist the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFAIT) to confirm their citizenship status and identification and validity of their passports.
Hulahau said ICA will provide alternative travel documents to the seven men if their passports are no longer valid or lost.